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In the News

Read the articles below to learn a little more about the Youth Poet Laureate Program

News: More Info

"Poetry in Pandemic Times: Six Poets on the Healing Power of Verse" in San Jose Mercury News

article by Jessica Yadegaran - published January 24, 2021

“This year has forced people to look at their lives and ask questions,” Cagney says. “Our response as poets is to engage with those questions and allow the audience to wrestle with the answers. I think the only machine that can unpack that is poetry.”

Historically, Americans have turned to poetry in times of national crisis, says Robert Pesich, a poet, scientist and president of the San Jose Poetry Center.

“We saw this during both World Wars, in the late ’60s with civil rights, and we’re seeing it now,” he says. “Because of the grief that has befallen us, there is a hunger for a nuanced, emotionally forward form of communication.”

"Santa Clara County looking for its first youth poet laureate" in San Jose Spotlight

article by Madelyn Reese - published December 29, 2020

“My goal as poet laureate was not only to start this program,” Sapigao said. “I want this program to continue past my tenure and I hope that someone will take it on and people will decide it’s necessary for the county.”

Sapigao said the program is important because society needs to do more to amplify youth voices.

“We live in an anti-youth society,” Sapigao said. “They’re told their voice will be heard only when they turn 18 and can vote.”

"Episode #37 Janice Lobo Sapigao - Santa Clara County Poet Laureate" in Content Magazine

hosted by Daniel Garcia - published in November 2020

"Lately, two topics seem to be on the mind of Santa Clara County's latest poet laureate, Janice Lobo Sapigao: death and childhood. Though "beginning" and "end" might seem polar opposites, they're closer than we often give them credit for...

In our conversation, Janice shares how her writing moved to from her diary to the stage, her inspiration, and the road to becoming a poet laureate."

"Pandemic Poetic" in San Jose Metroactive

article by Kyle Martin - published Sept. 9, 2020

"Janice Lobo Sapigao is Santa Clara County's poet laureate and she's got a grand vision

Janice Lobo Sapigao didn't expect her first year as the Santa Clara County Poet Laureate would be sucker punched by a global pandemic, but she's determined not to let that stop her from getting South Bay kids to love their own words.

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