County’s poet laureate offers class for teens that provides relief from pandemic stress

Janice Lobo Sapigao, Santa Clara County's poet laureate

Daily Post Staff Writer

Today (Feb. 12) is the last day for teenage poets to sign up for a free poetry writing workshop offered online by Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Janice Lobo Sapigao, who said the class will offer kids a needed “release” from the stress of the pandemic.

Sapigao, 32, is hosting the workshop for county poets age 13 to 18 who want to hone their creative writing skills and learn more about the craft.

To attend the Feb. 20 workshop, people must register online at by 5 p.m. today.

$1,000 scholarship

Kids can also apply online by Feb. 26 to be the county’s youth poet laureate, a title that comes with a $1,000 scholarship and opportunities to get a writing mentor and work published in Martha Street Art Night, a San Jose art magazine.

“I think it’ll be good for students to apply. I have been purposefully reaching out to students whose families have been directly impacted by Covid,” Sapigao said, adding that she welcomes students who are interested in writing poetry in languages other than English.

Students who attend her workshop will be paid a stipend, which Sapigao said will likely be about $5 to $10.

The San Jose resident said her youth poetry programs are meant to provide a place for students to be able to express themselves creatively during a time when many can’t be with their friends.

Pressures on teens

“I think it is a release from the atmosphere of Covid. I think it’s a release from feeling like they always have to talk about what’s going on in society,” Sapigao said. “They’re able to build on perhaps the imagination they’ve been able to build during quarantine.”


  1. Love it. I’m bilingual. Learned English at 6. My native tongue is a superpower. If you reach only one person with this, you succeed, but you are touching many, many more. Reading and writing rule. Thank you honorable laureate for creating this great outlet and opportunity. This. Is. Awesome. (I may have said that already.)

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