June 2021 to June 2022: Youth Ecopoetry Project

As part of my Academy of American Poets project, I am organizing ecopoetry workshops and working on a series of short poetry films that will highlight San Mateo County’s ecology and how our youth are responding to environmental challenges.

“Ecopoetry generally refers to poetry about ecology, ecosystems, environmental injustice, animals, agriculture, climate change, water, and even food. It emerged in the 1990s as poets questioned the naturalness of “nature poetry,” especially since nature itself was rapidly changing due to global warming and environmental destruction.” (Craig Santos Perez, “Teaching Ecopoetry in a Time of Climate Change,” The Georgia Review Fall 2020).

As a poet and an immigrant, I am compelled to engage the environmental changes around me through the lens of equity and empathy, especially since the places I call home are at risk: San Mateo County is California’s ground zero for sea level rise; while the Philippines is the country most vulnerable to the climate crisis. Hence, these questions: how do we begin to search for more creative solutions to climate change? How can the language of ecopoetry help us reimagine a more sustainable future?

The Academy of American Poets interviewed me about my project and laureateship here.

Students grade 12 and below who are interested and wish to find out more, please email me at query[at]speakpoetry.org.