Aileen Cassinetto 1/1/2019 – 12/31/2020
In October 2018, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors appointed Aileen Cassinetto to the honorary post of Poet Laureate. She will serve a two-year term beginning on January 1, 2019.
Widely anthologized, Aileen 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.
To be a Poet Laureate is to perceive and bridge the gaps that exist in a community. It is about creating empathy and recognizing our shared humanity. Our county is singularly diverse, in terms of its geography and its demographics. And in this landscape, we have the space we need to bring to the fore the issues that unsettle and divide us, but there is also more than enough room to hold up the ideals and hopes which define, connect, and unite us.
As an immigrant, I came to America with a luggage overpacked with poems and the unshakeable conviction that I can be a poet here. I learned the most important lessons from being part of a community, that is, to be a poet is to help build, gather, restore. It’s about hope, that great unifier, which transforms lives, which fortifies communities, which changes the world.