ABOUT

 

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

AILEEN CASSINETTO 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 appeared or is forthcoming in POETRY, Asahi Shimbun, The Banyan Review, Cultural Weekly, Fellowship Magazine, Guest, Marsh Hawk Press ReviewMoss Trill, The Nonconformist MagazinePositively Filipino, San Francisco Chronicle, Vox Populi, and Clarion Alley Mural Project’s (CAMP) Wall + Response, among others. Aileen 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. She has been interviewed in NBC Asian America, PenTV, and The Six Fifty, among others, and was one of the subjects in The TRANSCENDIENTS exhibitions, at the Japanese American National Museum. As Poet Laureate, she has worked with local institutions, such as 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 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. She has also 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. A producer at The Midpen Media Center, Aileen is also 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.