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.
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.
“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 supervisors following the call for applications, and a two-step review process organized by Silicon Valley Creates and the library district.
“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, CEO 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.”
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). The library district’s YouTube page has a selection of short videos featuring readings from past County Poet Laureates.