Redwood City — The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors today appointed Jorge Argueta of Daly City as the County’s poet laureate, citing his ability to use poetry to create bridges among diverse communities.
Argueta’s work reflects his heritage as a native of El Salvador with a number of bilingual books and poems. He teaches creative writing at elementary schools, high schools and colleges and works with young people in homeless shelters, hospitals and other challenging environments.
Argueta’s works include children’s books such as the bilingual “The Fiesta of the Tortillas/La Fiesta De Las Tortillas” and “A Movie in My Pillow/Una Pelicula en mi Almohada,” about a child with two homelands.
As poet laureate, Argueta will propose and lead a community project, present at selected County-sponsored events and every quarter open a Board of Supervisors meeting during the two-year term.
Argueta is the County’s first poet laureate of Hispanic descent. Appointed unanimously, he was recommended for the honorary post by an advisory committee.
The Board of Supervisors in 2013 established the honorary post of San Mateo County Poet Laureate to promote awareness and heighten appreciation of poetry and the spoken word.
To qualify as poet laureate, candidates should be a San Mateo County resident of five years or more, demonstrate a commitment to reading and writing poetry, embrace the opportunity to engage in civic discourse and commit to serve a two-year term.
Argueta is the fourth poet laureate, following Aileen Cassinetto, Lisa Rosenberg and Caroline Goodwin.
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