Highlights of Poet Laureate activities in 2014-15:
Working with Youth in Schools
In 2014, Santa Clara County Poet Laureate David Perez taught a series of courses for middle-school aged students through the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza. SAC serves many disadvantaged youth living in East San Jose. The courses incorporated poetry and video production. He also worked with youth in schools, including Clark Elementary. Other youth-focused poetry events, included:
- Milpitas Poetry Recital Competition held at the Milpitas Library. Participants were required to memorize a poem written by an established poet and perform it for a live audience.
- Cupertino Youth Poetry Workshop. The course included reading and analysis of a few poems chosen by the poet laureate. Participants also brought their own poems and poems written by others to share and discuss.
Making Poetry More Accessible to the Community
One of David Perez’s main projects as poet laureate was to bring a poetry booth to festivals and events to engage the public and help make poetry more available and accessible.
He joined Poet Laureate of Cupertino, Jennifer Swanton Brown at Cupertino's Cherry Blossom Festival. They composed poems for festival attendees and made available a number of poetry composition activities specifically geared toward youth.
Youth Poetry Education Workshops
During his tenure as Poet Laureate, Perez has offered youth poetry education workshops, where young people were able to practice composing and sharing their own poetry. On April 29, 2015, he lead a workshop at the Milpitas Library that invited youth poets to work side-by-side with adult poets.
The goal was to foster communication across generations and to encourage young poets to think and write in new ways.
San Jose Museum of Art 6th Annual Poetry Invitational
Perez hosted the 6th Annual San Jose Museum of Art Poetry Invitational in 2015. The first Santa Clara County Poet Laureate, Nils Peterson, created this event during his tenure. Poets composed original pieces inspired by art in the museum.
At the event, poets read their pieces beside the artwork. Among the attendees were Poet Laureate of San Mateo County Caroline Goodwin, and Kevin Gunn, Poet Laureate of Livermore.