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Commission for Arts and Culture

San Diego Poet Laureate

Stack of books next to a notepad and pen

Jason Magabo Perez

San Diego Poet Laureate 2023-2024

Jason Magabo Perez is the author of Phenomenology of Superhero (2016), This is for the mostless (2017), and I ask about what falls away (forthcoming 2024). Perez blends poetry, prose, performance, film/video, ethnography, and oral history to explore Filipino American histories, colonialism, state violence, migration, memory, and intimacy. Perez’s prose, poetry, and poetics have appeared in various publications such as Interim, Witness, Entropy, Eleven Eleven, The Feminist Wire, Faultline, The Operating System, Kalfou, ASAP/Journal, TAYO, Mission at Tenth, and Marías at Sampaguitas. Perez has written, developed, and performed three staged multimedia performance works: The Passion of El Hulk Hogancito (2009); You Will Gonna Go Crazy (2011), which was commissioned by Kularts, Inc. and funded by a Challenge America Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts; and Blue Bin Improvisations (2018), which was commissioned and presented by MexiCali Biennial and Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. For over 20 years, Perez has performed, delivered keynote addresses, lectured, and convened and facilitated dialogues, panels, and workshops in public libraries, community centers, and K-12, college, and university classrooms. A founding member of the San Diego-based Freedom Writers Spoken Word Collective, Perez has been a Featured Artist at the New Americans Museum, Community Scholar-in-Residence at the San Diego Public Library, and Artist-in-Residence at the Center for Art and Thought (CA+T). Perez has performed at notable venues such as the National Asian American Theatre Festival, International Conference of the Philippines, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco Public Library, Galoka, and La Jolla Playhouse. From 2007-2016, Perez taught writing, performance, and ethnic studies at several college and university campuses throughout San Diego; and from 2016-2019, Perez was Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at California State University, San Bernardino. Alumnus of the Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation Writing Workshops for Writers of Color, Perez holds an M.F.A. in Writing and Consciousness from New College of California and a dual Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies and Communication from University of California, San Diego. Perez presently serves as Community Arts Fellow at Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies, Associate Editor at Ethnic Studies Review, and is a core organizer of The Digital Sala. Perez is now Associate Professor and Director of Ethnic Studies at California State University San Marcos. Perez currently resides in Clairemont Mesa.

Photo Credit: Alicia Lores/CSUSM

Poets Laureate

The Poet Laureate serves as an ambassador and advocate for poetry, spoken word and the literary arts. During the two-year term, the appointed Poet Laureate produces engaging and conceptually rich original works inspired by and in response to San Diego. Charged with cultivating critical thinking, connection, and appreciation of the art form, the Poet Laureate participates in public events and leads a poetry project that broadens the audiences for poetry. Most importantly, the Poet Laureate is the city’s poet, a civic poet - the people’s poet, whose role is to elevate an already thriving literary arts scene and enhance San Diego’s cultural richness.

The San Diego Poet Laureate was instituted in San Diego in 2020.

Ron Salisbury - Conversations with Poets

Ron Salisbury


San Diego Poet Laureate 2020-2021


Ron Salisbury served as the first San Diego Poet Laureate. His book Miss Desert Inn, won the Main Street Rag Poetry Prize. As Poet Laureate, Salisbury spearheaded two projects: Poetry of Resilience and San Diego Poetry Together Challenge.