In the News
Read the articles below to learn a little more about the Youth Poet Laureate Program
"How Performance Poetry Empowers Youth"
featuring Anna Yang, TEDxYouth@ShorelineBlvd
published December 16, 2022
"Poetry is often a tool for private reflection, kept quiet and confined to the written page. What happens when these words are divulged to an audience? Santa Clara County Youth Poet Laureate Anna Yang shares her poetry journey from silence to performance, as well as how other youth can use the power of poetry for self-confidence and advocacy. Anna Yang is a 17 year old Chinese-American poet, artist, and social justice advocate. In the words of Audre Lorde, “Poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence.” Thus, she writes poetry because it gives a voice to those who go unheard, spinning thoughts into stanzas and bridging divisions with the unveiling of common humanity. She is the current Santa Clara County Youth Poet Laureate and has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, New York Times, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, National Council of Teachers of English, among others. She is also the Co-founder and President of the Journals of Justice, a nonprofit organization with a mission to empower youth to investigate social justice through art, poetry, and journalism. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx "
"Santa Clara Youth Poet Laureate" in Metrosiliconvalley
article by Li Patron - published April 6, 2022
"Meet the wordsmiths vying to become the county’s second-ever youth poet laureate."
"Last month, talented local writers—ages 13 to 18—applied to become the next Santa Clara County youth poet laureate. This week, judges announced seven finalists for the honorary post: Samantha Hsiung, Minerva S.M. Kamra, Sarah Fathima Mohammed, Jacqueline Pham, Myesha Phukan, Michelle Qiao and Anna Yang."
"Artivist ANOUK YEH
Santa Clara's First Poet Laureate" in Content Magazine
Article by Johanna Harlow - published Winter 2021
Photography by Daniel Garcia
"Anouk Yeh isn't the kind of poet who cloaks her pieces in vague phrases or ambiguous analogies. As an artivist (art activist)--tacking heavy-hitting social and political issues like racism, ageism, gun violence, and sexual harassment--mysterious stanzas don't cut it."
"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.