At first glance, the contest to become Burlingame and Hillsborough’s first Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) appears to be just another creative writing competition for teens. But in order to “win,” applicants must have more than poetic flair.
“You don’t necessarily need to be good at poetry,” said senior Eva Chen, who is Burlingame’s youth poet-in-residence. “That is something we’re looking for, but ultimately, we want to see you take action; we want to see you take initiative. Because to me, poetry does not just live on paper, it lives in speech and in actions. Poetry is supposed to be alive.”
San Mateo County’s adult poet laureate, Aileen Cassinetto, has also played a major role in helping to secure funding for the YPL program and transforming it from an idea to a reality.
“[Casinetto] has done so much to promote poetry in San Mateo County that we’re just hoping it’s a movement that will build and build each year,” Miner said. “It’s kind of exciting to just be the second ones in the county to have it, but that’s the dream — that the momentum carries forward and the program grows.”
Read the full article in The Burlingame B.