Aileen Cassinetto was appointed by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors to serve as Poet Laureate in October 2018. In January 2019, she launched her “Speak Poetry in San Mateo County” campaign in schools, city halls, the county jail, nursing facilities and local libraries. In April 2020, she curated the community poem, “Love in the Time of COVID-19 for Healthcare Workers and Other Frontliners,” which raised funds for the San Mateo County Health Foundation and was also featured in the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project in Minnesota, the Montgomery Independent School District in Texas, the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut, and the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Hawaii. In January 2021, she released the poetry anthology, I Have a Dream: Inaugural Poems for a New Generation featuring poems by 115 students ages 6 to 16 from all around San Mateo County. In June 2021, Aileen was named an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow and awarded $50,000 to work on a project that will equip youth with the language of ecopoetry as a way to broaden the search for creative solutions to climate change.
Extension of term as Poet Laureate