It is National Poetry Month all over San Mateo County! The County of San Mateo and cities in the county are proclaiming April as National Poetry Month upon the request of San Mateo County Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto. Ms. Cassinetto is also spearheading several events to celebrate poetry and the work of poets in the county.
On April 1st, the “Speak Poetry in San Mateo County” banner was put up at the County Center in Redwood City, with support from the Offices of Supervisor Warren Slocum and Supervisor Carole Groom, the Office of Arts and Culture, and the county’s Public Works team. The Speak Poetry web archive was launched the same day featuring the bios, poems and civic engagements of over 70 poets from San Mateo County and the work of over 200 youth poets, as well as more than 70 poets from the greater Bay Area with ties to the county.
Following National Poetry Month proclamations by the County Supervisors and the mayors and councilmembers of the cities of Pacifica, Burlingame, San Mateo, Redwood City, Brisbane, Menlo Park, San Bruno, Belmont, Half Moon Bay, East Palo Alto, Daly City and the Midcoast Community Council, activities, readings and programs have been launched around the county celebrating local poets and the role of poetry in our communities, including a Makerspace Poetry Lab pilot project for all ages to promote STEAM and encourage various ways of looking at the world in terms of relationships and possibilities. Additionally, almost 200 trees have been planted in honor of San Mateo County’s poets and poetry advocates, individually and as a group, for their many ways of making and giving and paying it forward.
Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K–12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, families, and, of course, poets, marking poetry’s important place in our lives.
Check out poetry events near you. Happy National Poetry Month!