Janice Lobo Sapigao authored two books of poetry and numerous chapbooks

Janice Lobo Sapigao


By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

Robert Frost said that “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors appointed San Jose resident Janice Lobo Sapigao to the honorary post of the county’s Poet Laureate for a two-year term.

The Poet Laureate’s role is to elevate residents’ awareness of the arts and inspire  readers and fans of poetry, said County Librarian Nancy Howe. “We look forward to helping Janice connect with communities across the county to instill our shared love of the art form,” she said.

Sapigao is a poetry editor at Angel City Review. She authored two books of poetry and numerous chapbooks.

“Janice brings a unique voice that speaks to the experience of many residents of Silicon Valley,” said Supervisor Cindy Chavez, president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. “Her identity as a U.S. born daughter of immigrants from the Philippines, and her ability to write about the intersection of these two identities is a rich confluence of artistic influences.”

Sapigao was recommended to the Board following the call for applications, and a two-step review process organized by the County of Santa Clara, Silicon Valley Creates (SVCreates), and the Santa Clara County Library District.

Sapigao, who works as an assistant professor of English at Skyline College in San Bruno, plans to develop a Youth Poet Laureate program to further encourage the art and broaden participation.

“I am honored to be appointed as the next Santa Clara County Poet Laureate and develop my project to start a youth poet laureate program,” Sapigao said. “I hope to visit elementary, middle, and high schools in the county to promote the power of poetry as a source for connection, community, and critical conversations.”

Sapigao is the sixth 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), and Mike McGee (2018-19).

The Morgan Hill Historical Society told us recently that the members of the South Valley Fleurs Garden Club helped them establish a native garden at the Villa Mira Monte house complex.

This effort expands the experiences of student visits during annual school field trips to the Morgan Hill House, the Centennial Trail, and the Acton Museum. This is an effort to honor and demonstrate how the land was used by the Native Americans of the Morgan Hill area long before Spanish, Mexican, and settlers arrived.

With encouragement from the Bay Area Open Space Council, the Amah Mutsun tribe and community members, when completed the native garden will contain grasses, bushes, and fruit that were used by the Amah Mutsun for food, medicinal purposes, basket weaving, hunting, and fishing.

What a great partnership between two local organizations that will go a long way toward educating our children on their annual field trips. Keep up the good work.

There’s a new poppy jasper art sculpture coming courtesy of local artist Louis Latronica. The Morgan Hill Library, Culture and Arts Commission, in conjunction with Anthony Stenberg’s Morgan Hill Art School, will sell raffle tickets at BookSmart to raise funds to finalize the purchase.

Two raffle prizes will be awarded at the Art-A-La-Carte festival at the Morgan Hill Community Center May 2. The first prize winner will get to choose either a custom framed photo of the art sculpture or a canvas print. Raffle tickets will also be sold at the Morgan Hill Farmers Market March 21 through April 2 when the artist will be present to meet the public. The Commission intends to display this sculpture at the main entrance lobby of City Hall.

Orbital Poppy Jasper is a unique geological gemstone found only in Morgan Hill. Ancient folklore attribute this gemstone to courage, strength and willpower. The artist has sculpted this piece to be representative of our national bird and calls the sculpture “The Eagle.”

Robert Airoldi