The writings of San José poet Yosimar Reyes have appeared in 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.
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.
His poetry will now reach wider, perhaps more mainstream local audiences, as he begins serving two years as the new Santa Clara County Poet Laureate.
The nationally recognized East San Jose artist will be promoting the art of poetry at local community events, including during National Poetry Month, represent the County of Santa Clara through outreach related to poetry and in events sponsored by the county library district.
The county Board of Supervisors appointed Reyes to the post last week.
“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,” Reyes said.
“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. Reyes was recommended to the supervisors following the call for applications, and after a two-step review process organized by Silicon Valley Creates and the library district.
Alexandra Urbanowski, CEO of Silicon Valley Creates, added, “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. The library district’s YouTube page has a selection of short videos featuring readings from past County Poet Laureates.