Aileen Cassinetto

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Poet Laureate of San Mateo County, California, 2019–2022

Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Aileen Cassinetto is the author of The Pink House of Purple Yam Preserves & Other Poems (Little Dove & Our Own Voice, 2018) and Traje de Boda (Meritage Press, 2010), as well as three chapbooks released through Moria Books’ chapbook publishing wing, Locofo Chaps. In January 2021, she independently published the poetry anthology I Have a Dream: Inaugural Poems for a New Generation,  featuring poems by 115 San Mateo County students between the ages of six and sixteen.

In January 2019, Cassinetto launched her “Speak Poetry in San Mateo County” project in schools, city halls, the county jail, nursing facilities, and local libraries. In April 2020, she curated the community poem, “Love in the Time of COVID-19 for Healthcare Workers and Other Frontliners,” which raised funds for the San Mateo County Health Foundation and was featured in the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut, the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project in Minnesota, the Montgomery Independent School District in Texas, the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, and the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Hawaii. A 2021 National Youth Poet Laureate Competition judge, Cassinetto helped establish annual youth poetry competitions and youth poet laureate programs in San Mateo County and has worked on expanding an ecopoetry program in collaboration with local groups.

Cassinetto served as the poet laureate of San Mateo County from 2019 to 2022, and currently serves as a commissioner on San Mateo County’s Commission on the Status of Women. She received an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship in 2021.