April 2021: Inaugural Daly City Youth Poet Laureate

“City Launches Youth Poet Laureate Program, First Of Its Kind In San Mateo County,” SF Gate (January 15, 2021)

“San Mateo County’s poet laureate Aileen Cassinetto said Daly City’s youth program “amplifies the role of youth in the community and the power of the literary arts in inspiring civic engagement.”

“I see the Youth Poet Laureate as the city’s literary ambassador, creating necessary spaces so that the voices of other young people can be heard,” Cassinetto said in a statement. “I see this role as giving shape to our young people’s hopes, fears, perspectives, sense of purpose, and sense of community.”

Cassinetto is one of the newest members of the board of the Daly City Public Library Associates (DCPLA), a “Friends of the Library” group that supports the library with fundraising.”

Watch the virtual commencement ceremony:

*San Mateo County Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto is an advocate of youth poet laureate programs in and around the county. She also helped to establish a countywide Annual Youth Poetry & Art Competition in collaboration with the San Mateo County Housing Leadership Council, an Annual Haiku Competition in collaboration with Filoli Historic House & Garden, and the first ecopoetry workshop at the Youth Climate Ambassadors Summer Retreat.

March 2021: Empower Women, Empower Earth

With a theme of ecofeminism, Skyline College in collaboration with San Mateo County Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto presents Empower Women, Empower Earth featuring Persis Karim, Maya Khosla and Kim Shuck (find full bios here: http://bit.ly/PoetBios).


The Poetry Corner Series offers the Skyline College community a space to gather and celebrate diversity and lyrical power through the art of poetry.

Poetry Corner is supported by a President’s Innovation Fund award.

March-July 2021: Burlingame Library’s Community Book to Action

Burlingame Public Library’s community Book to Action program “Burlingame Reads,” running March-July 2021, with support from California Center for the Book, and with Community Partners Citizens Environmental Council, Sustainable San Mateo County, Farming Hope, San Mateo County Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto, and Nethra Samarawickrema and Yuri Zaitsev of the Listening Lab, presents a series of events focusing on environmental, racial, food and housing justice.

Burlingame-Reads-List-of-Events-8.5x11-poster updated

February 2021: 2nd Annual Filoli Haiku Competition

Haiku Reading at Filoli (special announcement of the Haiku Competition winners)


Screen Shot 2021-01-05 at 2.02.57 PM

Submit Your Haiku on Filoli’s Winter Garden!
Entries due January 31 | Winner announced Feb 14

Filoli is pleased to bring back for a second year its Winter Garden Haiku Poetry Competition, open to all. Entrants may submit up to three original, previously unpublished poems in the 5/7/5 format that reflect or are inspired by the beauty of Filoli’s garden in winter. San Mateo County Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto will judge the entries blind, selecting ten finalists and awarding prizes for first and second place (adult) and best under 18 years of age. Entries must be submitted by January 31, 2021 at midnight PST. Finalists will be announced on the website on February 10, 2021. The winners will be announced via Zoom on February 14, 2021. For more information and to submit an entry, visit: filoli.org/haiku.

February 2021: Poetry Out Loud

“Igniting student potential through the power of poetry”


Come and watch inspiring students from various San Mateo County schools compete in the Third Annual San Mateo County Poetry Out Loud Competition on Thursday, February 11th, from 7-9 pm Via Zoom Webinar!

Register for this FREE Event here: bit.ly/SMCPoetryOutLoud2021

For more information about the California Poetry Out Loud Competition, visit https://www.capoetryoutloud.org/

For more information about the San Mateo County Arts Commission, visit https://cmo.smcgov.org/arts-commission

December 2020: Youth Poetry Workshops

Learn to write an occasional poem with San Mateo County Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto! 12/2 and 12/9 at 5pm, hosted by the Daly City Public Library Associates (DCPLA) with a reading by Oakland youth poet Siara Edmond. To sign up, please email info@dcpla.org.


November 2020: Re-EnVISIONing Our Future Together

San Mateo County Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto and Skyline College collaborate to present a reading and panel discussion, Re-EnVISIONing Our Future Together, that hopes “to find clarity and to imagine a future that celebrates both our commonalities and our differences.” The event will feature Virginia Poet Laureate Luisa A. Igloria and former San Antonio Poet Laureate Octavio Quintanilla. November 6 at 4pm Pacific via Zoom.


October 2020: County Board Resolution


Board of Supervisors, County of San Mateo, State of California


RESOLVED, by the Board of Supervisors of the County of San Mateo, State of California, that

WHEREAS, the County of San Mateo is fortunate to have a thriving and active community of poets; and

WHEREAS, County Poet Laureate can offer skills to create, employ and read poetry to promote awareness and heighten the appreciation of poetry and the literary arts; and

WHEREAS, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors established the creation of the honorary post of Poet Laureate to elevate and celebrate the literary arts in our community, and established a Poet Laureate Advisory Committee to implement a process and criteria for selection of the Poet Laureate; and

WHEREAS, San Mateo County Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto began her two-year term as Poet Laureate of San Mateo County on January 1, 2019, and since that time has spread enthusiasm for literary arts through her “Speak Poetry” project; and

WHEREAS, the work of San Mateo County Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto during this pandemic has been exemplary, particularly her outreach to youth who have been distance learning since March; and

WHEREAS, it is important to have continuity in the Poet Laureate program during these most challenging times and by extending the Poet Laureate’s term allows for her to carry on her meaningful work; and

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY DETERMINED AND ORDERED that the Board of Supervisors approves of the extension of term of Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto to December 31, 2021.