June 2021 to June 2022: Youth Ecopoetry Project

As part of my Academy of American Poets project, I am organizing workshops and working on a series of short films that will highlight the Bay Area’s ecology and how our youth are responding to environmental challenges. Students grade 12 and below who are interested and wish to find out more, please email me at smcpoetlaureate[at]smcl.org.


August 2021: Youth Ecopoetry Workshop

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.

May 2021: Midpen Media Celebrates Youth Poets

San Mateo County Poet Laureate Aileen Cassinetto is joined by The Midpen Media Center founder Elliot Margolies, local teacher Jim Ward, contributors to the youth anthology, I Have a Dream: Inaugural Poems for a New Generation, and winners and finalists of the 2020 Housing Leadership Council Youth Poetry Competition, 2021 Daly City Youth Poet Laureate Competition, and 2021 Poetry Out Loud Competition.

May 2021: Growing Home / Affordable Housing Month

In late 2019, the Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County and SMCPL Aileen Cassinetto began collaborating on what would be an annual countywide youth poetry, music & art competition to raise awareness of Affordable Housing Month and highlight young people’s notions of home. The theme this year is “Growing Home,” the title of last year’s winning poem by Abigale Wee. Grand Prize Winners this year, announced by The Honorable David Canepa, President of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, are: Rachel Cronin (Poetry, K-5); Marta Olson (Poetry, 6-12); Mina Hui (Art, K-5); Emily Gao & Jane Oh (Art, 6-12); Justin Tha (Music, K-5); William Christensen (Music, 6-12).

hlcsmc 2021

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.

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.