Fil-Am writer Jason Perez named San Diego’s new poet laureate

Jason Perez San Diego's new poet laureate
Filipino-American writer Dr. Jason Magabo Perez is appointed the City of San Diego’s 2023-2024 Poet Laureate in the United States. Photo from the City of San Diego socials.

Filipino-American writer Dr. Jason Magabo Perez has been appointed the City of San Diego’s new Poet Laureate in California, U.S.A.

The associate professor and director of Ethnic Studies at Cal State San Marcos was named Poet Laureate by City of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria after a qualification process that evaluated literary artists on artistic excellence and literary recognition, among others.

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City of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria called Perez “a champion for the art of poetry.”

“Jason Magabo Perez is a champion for the art of poetry,” Mayor Todd Gloria said in his State of the City address on January 11, 2023.

“I’m thrilled about his selection as San Diego’s Poet Laureate. His work is profound, innovative and uncompromising. As a long-time resident of San Diego, he has shown his dedication to our City through his extensive work as a poet, educator and advocate,” May Gloria added.

Perez recited his poem “We Draft Work Songs for This City” on stage at the San Diego Civic Theatre during the Mayor’s 2023 State of the City Address.

Perez’s work explores Filipino-American histories, colonialism, state violence, and migration, among others.

The Fil-Am writer’s prose, poetry, and poetics have appeared in various publications like Interim, Witness, Entropy, Eleven Eleven, The Feminist Wire, Faultline, The Operating System, Kalfou, and ASAP/Journal.

As the Poet Laureate, Perez will serve a two-year team as an ambassador for the arts, advocating for poetry, spoken word, and literary arts on the city’s behalf. He succeeds Ron Salisbury who was appointed in 2020.

Born to Filipino immigrants in Detroit, Dr. Jason Magabo Perez is a writer, performer, teacher, and scholar. He also serves as a Community Arts Fellow at Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies, Associate Editor at Ethnic Studies Review, and the core organizer of The Digital Sala.

University of the Philippines alumna Luisa Igloria was named Poet Laureate of Virginia in 2020.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Filipino-American writer Dr. Jason Magabo Perez, the City of San Diego’s new Poet Laureate!

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