San Mateo Resident Named Region’s Poet Laureate

With its breathtaking scenic beauty, cultural diversity and world-famous innovation, San Mateo is an inspiring place to call home. These elements recently came together when San Mateo County named its third Poet Laureate.

The Board of Supervisors appointed Aileen Cassinetto of San Mateo to the honorary post earlier this month. Her role as Poet Laureate will be to elevate poetry among San Mateo County residents and to celebrate the literary arts by making poetry more accessible to people in their everyday lives.

Cassinetto, a native of the Philippines, is the first Asian-American to be appointed to this post. Among its many qualities, her work reflects an experience of the Bay Area’s natural environment.

“As an immigrant, I came to America with a luggage overpacked with poems and the overwhelming thought that I can be a poet here,” Cassinetto said. “I learned the most important lessons from being part of a community, which is to say, 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.”

Activities of the San Mateo Poet Laureate include organizing poetry readings and curating poems from local residents’ submissions. Previous Poet Laureate Caroline Goodwin originated a “Poetry is Nature” campaign to increase awareness of San Mateo County’s rich diversity of people, place and neighborhoods through the power of spoken word and place-themed poetry. Other previous contests and events included “Poetry is Family” and “Poetry is Heritage.”

Cassinetto is the author of The Pink House of Purple Yam Preserves and Other Poems, Traje de Boda, The Art of Salamat, B & O Blues, and Tweet. Her work is on permanent display at the San Francisco Public Library as part of the Hay(na)ku Poetry Exhibit. She is the publisher of Paloma Press, an independent literary press established in 2016, which has released 12 books to date.

To learn more, visit rates Bay Meadows high on the list for walkable locations to live on the San Francisco Peninsula and for good reason! Why? Because we are steps from shopping and entertainment (Hillsdale Center), groceries (Whole Foods), parks, a farmer’s market and an easy bike-ride from downtown San Mateo with its burgeoning restaurant scene. And Caltrain is no more than a five-minute walk from anywhere in the neighborhood. Learn all about connecting the dots for your many transportation options with Connect San Mateo.