BREATHE is an Official Selection in the Nature & Culture – Poetry Film Festival and will be screened at Kulturhuset Islands Brygge Cultural Center (Denmark) on November 21st & 28th! SMC youth’s crowdsourced poem, “Breathe,” will also be included in an anthology forthcoming from Poetic Phonotheque, Copenhagen. “Breathe” features work by Cassandra Bousquet, Chloe Chou, Bellamy Cramer, Ronit Das, Arda Inegol, Samantha Ishikawa, Maya Kornyeyeva, Iris Li, Caroline Lim, Allen Mata, Hanna Docampo Pham, Emma Roginski , Marissa Teng, and Payton Zolck, with additional lines by National Youth Poet Laureate Alexandra Huynh.
*BREATHE, the first in a series of short films exploring the layered connections between nature and culture through poetry, is made possible by The Academy of American Poets with funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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 write[at]aileencassinetto.com.
Save the date: August 11, 2021 at 5pm Pacific via Zoom!
Youth Ecopoets’ Workshop with 2020 U.S. Youth Poet Laureate & 2020 UN Sustainable Development Goals Ambassador Meera Dasgupta
Organized by San Mateo County Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto and the South San Francisco Public Library, this workshop is made possible by the Academy of American Poets with funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and in partnership with the San Mateo County Office of Arts & Culture and Urban Word NYC.
This workshop is free and open to all SF Bay Area high school students. Register here.