About

Aileen Cassinetto on NBC Asian Pacific America with Dr. Malathi Iyengar & host Robert Handa

AILEEN CASSINETTO (she/her) is an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow and the Poet Laureate of San Mateo County, California, the first Asian American and foreign-born poet appointed to the post. Widely anthologized, she is also the author of the poetry collections, Traje de Boda and The Pink House of Purple Yam Preserves & Other Poems, as well as three chapbooks through Moria Books’ acclaimed Locofo series. Her work has been featured in POETRYAsahi ShimbunThe Banyan Review, Cultural Daily, Fellowship MagazineGuest, Marsh Hawk Press Review, Moria, Moss TrillThe Nonconformist Magazine, Positively Filipino, San Francisco ChronicleVox Populi, Public Art at Belameda ParkClarion Alley Mural Project’s (CAMP) Wall + Response, The TRANSCENDIENTS Exhibitions at the Japanese American National Museum,  RESET/RESHAPE at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, and the Hay(na)ku Permanent Exhibition at the San Francisco Public Library Filipino American Center, among others. Her ecopoetry film, “BREATHE,” was an Official Selection in the Nature & Culture Poetry Film Festival in Copenhagen. 

She is the curator of “Power to the Poets,” a reading series on poetry, solidarity and social justice, and the Peninsula Bookfest in collaboration with local libraries. As Poet Laureate, she has worked with local institutions, such as the San Mateo County Office of Arts & Culture, the Office of Sustainability, the Office of Community Affairs, the San Mateo County Arts Commission, the Commission on the Status of Women, the LGBTQ Commission, member libraries of the Peninsula Library System, the San Mateo County Harbor District, Skyline College, the College of San Mateo, local high schools, and nonprofits, such as the Housing Leadership Council, Peninsula Family Service, and Filoli, to amplify the role of poetry in public life and discourse. She campaigned for and helped establish annual youth poetry competitions and youth poet laureate programs in the county, and curated the fundraising community poem, “Love in the Time of Covid-19,” which was read in Connecticut on Memorial Day in 2020 and used as a resource by the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project Minnesota and the Montgomery School District in Texas. A 2021 National Youth Poet Laureate Competition judge, she has collaborated with the Oakland Public Library on projects involving the Oakland Youth Poet Laureate, and Urban Word NYC, on projects involving the National Youth Poet Laureate. 

In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC invited her to moderate its first ever panel discussion featuring Filipino American women authors. She was also one of four Filipino American poets chosen by the Embassy in a bilateral campaign by the U.S. State Department and the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Philippine-U.S. diplomatic relations. She is a producer at The Midpen Media Center, serves on the Board of Directors of the Daly City Public Library Associates and is the publisher of the San Francisco Bay Area-based independent literary press, Paloma Press. In 2021, she received a Special Congressional Recognition from Congresswoman Anna Eshoo.

SHORT BIO:
Aileen Cassinetto is a Filipino American poet and publisher born and raised in Manila, Philippines. The author of two poetry collections and three chapbooks, her work has been featured in POETRYClarion Alley, Belameda Park, and the San Francisco Public Library Filipino American Center. She was named an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow and was given a Special Congressional Recognition in 2021. She currently serves as the Poet Laureate of San Mateo County, California.