Yosimar Reyes Appointed Santa Clara County Poet Laureate by Board of Supervisors for 2024-25

He becomes the eighth person to serve in this honorary role

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CA. — The Board of Supervisors for the County of Santa Clara appointed San José resident Yosimar Reyes to the honorary post of Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Tuesday for a two-year term ending Dec. 31, 2025. In this role, Reyes will help promote the art of poetry at local community events, including during National Poetry Month, represent the County of Santa Clara County through outreach related to poetry, and act as a resource for the Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD).

“The Poet Laureate position offers a chance to hear different voices and consider fresh perspectives in the realm of poetry and the spoken word,” said County Librarian Jennifer Weeks. “We look forward to seeing what Yosimar brings to this position and stand ready to assist with hosting community events and helping to spread the word about the majesty of all types of verse.”

Reyes draws inspiration in his work from his personal experiences as an immigrant from Guerrero, Mexico and as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. He is a former Lambda Literary Fellow and Undocupoets Fellow who has toured across the country delivering keynote addresses, writing workshops, and performing his one-man show, Prieto, a coming-of-age story about migration, sexuality and socio-economic struggle.

Reyes was recommended to the Board following the call for applications, and a two-step review process organized by Silicon Valley Creates (SVCreates) and the Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD). 

“SVCreates is a proud partner in Santa Clara County's Poet Laureate program and has been since its inception. This is one of several SVCreates programs that highlight the importance of the arts in our community and works to ensure access to arts experiences for all in our county,” said Alexandra Urbanowski, Chief Executive Officer of Silicon Valley Creates. “We are thrilled that Yosimar Reyes has been selected this year to demonstrate the power of poetry and its relevance to contemporary lives.”

Yosimar’s writings have appeared in multiple online journals and poetry compilations, including Mariposas: A Modern Anthology of Queer Latino Poetry, Somewhere we are Human: Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival, and New Beginnings, and the forthcoming UndocuPoetics: An Introduction.

"I am a proud product of an undocumented immigrant community in Eastside San José. It is an honor to represent us in such an esteemed position," said Reyes.

Reyes is the eighth poet laureate to be appointed by the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors. Nils Peterson was the County’s first Poet Laureate (2009-2011), followed by Sally Ashton (2012-13), David Perez (2014-2015), Arlene Biala (2016-17), Mike McGee (2018-19), Janice Lobo Sapigao (2020-21), and Tshaka Campbell (2022-23). SCCLD’s YouTube page has a selection of short videos, opens a new window featuring readings from past County Poet Laureates.

The Poet Laureate post was approved by the Board of Supervisors in November 2008 to elevate poetry among Santa Clara County residents and to help celebrate the literary arts. The Poet Laureate acts as a resource for poetry and literary activities to the Santa Clara County Library District, represents the County of Santa Clara through outreach related to poetry, conducts presentations of appropriate works at local events, and participates at activities to celebrate Poetry Month. The Poet Laureate will receive a modest honorarium. To learn more about the Poet Laureate program, go to sccld.org/poet/.

About Silicon Valley Creates
Silicon Valley Creates is building a network of leaders who care about the cultural and aesthetic quality of life in Silicon Valley. Our mission is to ignite investment and engagement in our creative culture through programs and initiatives that build the capacity of our creative sector, raise its value and visibility, and increase access to arts and creativity. 

About the Santa Clara County Library District
SCCLD promotes knowledge, ideas, and cultural enrichment. Its collection includes more than 2.3 million books, videos, CDs, DVDs/Blu-rays, Audiobooks, eBooks, and extensive online resources accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. In Fiscal Year 2022-23, SCCLD had over 360,000 library accounts, more than 1.1 million unique website visitors, and a circulation of over 11 million items. SCCLD includes two bookmobiles, an online library, seven community libraries and one branch library serving Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Saratoga and the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County.

For fifteen straight years SCCLD consistently was recognized as one of America’s Star Libraries by Library Journal. In 2022, SCCLD was rated a 5-Star library in their Index of Public Library Service, one of only five library systems in the U.S. with expenditures over $30 million given this honor. In 2014 and 2019, SCCLD won Innovator Awards from the Urban Libraries Council. SCCLD also received a Challenge Award in 2019 from the California State Association of Counties and an Innovative Project of the Year Award (Large District) from the California Special Districts Association in 2020.

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