California county taps Fil-Am as poet laureate
SAN JOSE, California – Janice Lobo Sapigao was named Santa Clara County’s poet laureate at a February 10 meeting of the county Board of Supervisors.
Sapigao, the county’s sixth poet laureate, will serve in the honorary role through December 31, 2021. The San Jose, California resident assumes the title from Mike McGee. She is a US-born daughter of Filipino immigrant parents.
“The poet laureate’s role is to elevate Santa Clara County residents’ awareness of the arts and help inspire all readers and fans of poetry, including the next generation of poets,” County Librarian Nancy Howe was quoted by the San Jose Mercury News.
Sapigao, named one of the Bay Area’s “2017 Women to Watch” by KQED Arts, is a poetry editor at Angel City Review. She has written two books of poetry and numerous chapbooks.
“Janice brings a unique voice that speaks to the experience of many residents of Silicon Valley,” said Supervisor Cindy Chavez. “Her identity as a U.S.-born daughter of immigrants from the Philippines, and her ability to write about the intersection of these two identities, is a rich confluence of artistic influences.”
Sapigao is an assistant professor of English at Skyline College in San Bruno. She plans to develop a Youth Poet Laureate program for the county.
The county organizes the poet laureate program in collaboration with Silicon Valley Creates.