Tshaka Campbell named Santa Clara County Poet Laureate

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors appointed San Jose resident Tshaka Campbell to the honorary post Tuesday of Santa Clara County Poet Laureate for a two-year term.

Campbell, curator of Beautiful Black Books as part of Poetry Center San Jose, conducts lectures, workshops in creative writing, spiritual verse and in other related topics and is an author and musician.

Campbell has authored four books, “Tarman,” “Muted Whispers,” “Tunnel Vision” and “Stuff,” and released three music albums, “One,” “Bloodlines” and “Skin, Vol. 1.” He has collaborated on a number of musical projects in the house, jazz and blues genres, as well as appeared in national commercials.

“I am standing on the shoulders of those who have held the post in the past, so I am both honored and humbled to be chosen,” Campbell said.

He is the seventh poet laureate to be appointed by the board. Nils Peterson was the first (2009-2011), followed by Sally Ashton (2012-13), David Perez (2014-2015), Arlene Biala (2016-17), Mike McGee (2018-19) and Janice Lobo Sapigao (2020-21).

A presentation will take place at 9:30am, Tuesday, Feb. 8, during the supervisors meeting to formally introduce Campbell, who will read a selection of his work.

Learn more about the Poet Laureate program.


  1. He is “both honored and humbled to be chosen”. Those are diametrically opposed concepts. To be honored it to be lifted up, to be praised. To be humbled is to be put down, to be disrespected, lowered in rank, prestige, or esteem. Definitely a woke, affirmative action appointment by the dark blue SCC BOS

  2. I’m happy for him because receiving such an award is always an unforgettable feeling. I love writing, and I hope that one day I’ll also be noticed. But for now, I’m focused on the improvement of my writing skills. I’m a student, so I don’t have much time for practicing writing. Educational take is a huge part of my life, and I have almost no time to do anything besides homework. But I’m not complaining, because a lot of things I study are very useful. For example, I have a course in writing. And during preparation, I read a lot of info, and visit different sites. Here is one Great site I found recently, and there is a lot of examples of papers on descriptive writing. And when I read them, I not only find something new for myself but also improve my skills. Because reading and analyzing other authors is good for skills development.

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