Who is San Diego’s new Poet Laureate, Jason Magabo Perez?

The Clairemont resident recited his poem, “We Draft Work Songs for This City,” at the State of the City Address earlier this month.

SD skyline and poet laureate Jason Magabo Perez

UC San Diego graduate and local professor Jason Magabo Perez, Ph. D, is the city’s new poet laureate.

Photos via SDtoday + City of San Diego

During Mayor Todd Gloria’s 2023 State of the City Address this month — at about the 16:50 markClairemont resident, poet, and author Jason Magabo Perez, Ph.D., took the podium. 🗣️

Magabo Perez delivered his powerful poem, “We Draft Work Songs for This City” — an ode to the diverse communities and voices that make San Diego, well, San Diego.

This was his public debut as San Diego Poet Laureate 2023-2024, a two-year position appointed by the Commission for Arts and Culture to serve as an advocate for local poetry, spoken word, and the literary arts.

SD Jason Magabo Perez

San Diego Poet Laureate Jason Magabo Perez, Ph. D., delivering his poem, “We Draft Work Songs for This City.”

Photo via City of San Diego

The role was created in 2020, and Magabo Perez is the city’s second-ever poet laureate. During his term, the city says he’ll create “engaging works inspired by and in response to San Diego” to build community and enhance cultural richness.

He’s a UC San Diego graduate and currently an associate professor and director of ethnic studies at California State University San Marcos. His works focus on Filipino-American histories, colonialism, migration, and more.

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