From the introduction to Speak Poetry, Vol. 2:

We are the language(s) we learned, the dragons we slayed, the monsters we defeated, the “gods we created”—we are all of our stories and every story read to us. We are also everything that we have forgotten. For this anthology, I’ve sent out a call to all poets in San Mateo County to submit poems on the theme, “childhood.” One reason is, to quote Robert Pinsky, to seek a vision of our future in the poetry of our past…”

According to a California Department of Finance study, there are 163,129 children between the ages of 0 and 17 in San Mateo County. If more than 57% are living with at least one foreign-born parent, how does a village support cultural literacy? What role can poetry play in a multilingual household? If more than 15% come from lower income families, or if more than 2% are homeless, how can our communities help in ensuring their future economic mobility? What possibilities can poetry possibly offer? More importantly, how does poetry change a life? From the 24 local poets featured in this anthology, it is my hope that we gain a deeper understanding of what childhood is, as well as everything that it can be.

Aileen Cassinetto