Jason Magabo Perez

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Poet Laureate of San Diego, California, 2023–2024

Jason Magabo Perez was born on May 21, 1981, in Detroit. He was raised in Southern California and is a longtime resident of San Diego. Magabo Perez holds an MFA in writing and consciousness from New College of California, formerly in San Francisco, and a dual PhD in ethnic studies and communication from the University of California, San Diego. 

Perez is the author of I ask about what falls away, forthcoming in 2024This is for the mostless (WordTech Editions, 2017); and Phenomenology of Superhero (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2016). Perez has also written, developed, and performed three staged multimedia performance works: Blue Bin Improvisations (2018), which was commissioned and presented by MexiCali Biennial and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE); You Will Gonna Go Crazy (2011), which was commissioned by KULARTS and funded by a Challenge America Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts; and The Passion of El Hulk Hogancito (2009).

Previously a featured artist at the New Americans Museum in San Diego, a community scholar in residence at the San Diego Public Library, and artist in residence at the Center for Art and Thought in Los Angeles, Perez has performed at various notable venues, including the National Asian American Theatre Festival, the International Conference of the Philippines, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the San Francisco Public Library, and the La Jolla Playhouse.

From 2007 to 2016, Perez taught writing, performance, and ethnic studies at several college and university campuses throughout San Diego, and from 2016 to 2019, he was an assistant professor of creative writing at California State University, San Bernardino. Perez currently serves as the Inaugural Community Arts Fellow at Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies and as an associate editor at Ethnic Studies Review. He is also a core organizer with The Digital Sala, a virtual Filipinx literary collaborative. Perez is an associate professor and director of ethnic studies at California State University San Marcos and is serving as poet laureate of San Diego from 2023 to 2024. In 2023, Perez received an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship