JANICE LOBO SAPIGAO
poet. writer. professor.
2020-2021 Santa Clara County Poet Laureate Emerita.
Janice Lobo Sapigao (she/her) is a Filipina American writer from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a daughter of immigrants from the Philippines. She tells people that she has been reading her poems in front of people for ten years now. She is the author of two books of poetry: microchips for millions (Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc., 2016), which is about immigrant women workers in Silicon Valley; and like a solid to a shadow (Timeless, Infinite Light, 2017 by way of Nightboat Books), which is about her father, family lineage, and learning Ilokano. She authored two published chapbooks, "toxic city" (tinder tender press, 2015), and "you don’t know what you don’t know" (Mondo Bummer Chapbooks, 2016). She was the 2020-2021 Santa Clara County Poet Laureate, and a 2020 Poet Laureate Fellow with the Academy of American Poets. She was named one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Women to Watch in 2017 by KQED Arts. She's been profiled in Content Magazine, Mercury News, SF Gate, and Metro Silicon Valley. Her work has appeared in literary magazines such as Apogee Journal, Entropy, The Offing, poets.org, Split This Rock's Poem-of-the-Week, POETRY, The Academy of American Poets' Poem-A-Day, and Waxwing Literary Journal. She is a VONA/Voice, Kundiman Poetry Fellow, and a former Vermont Studio Center resident. She is the Poetry Editor at Angel City Review. She's had a diary since she was six-years-old.
She was a first-generation college student who studied ethnic studies, writing, literature, research methods, urban studies & planning, and creative writing in her undergraduate and graduate schooling. She is a full-time, tenured Associate Professor of English at Skyline College where she directs the Honors Transfer Program and teaches in the CIPHER (Hip Hop) Learning Community. She has given keynote speeches, and taught writing and poetry workshops in middle school, high school, college, and community settings. She taught a master class for youth with the California Youth Poet Laureate Program, and she received the 2022-2023 Meyer Excellence in Teaching Award at Skyline College, which honors a faculty member who exemplifies classroom teaching, collegiality, departmental participation, and celebrates student participation outside of the classroom.
She has read her work at Foothill College, De Anza College, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, Clovis College, Chabot College, University of Washington at Bothell, the San José Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, featured at Kearny Street Workshop’s APAture series in 2018, and she has organized readings in collaboration with the San José Public Library, Santa Clara City Library, and the Santa Clara County Library District. Her work is taught in various courses and community settings.
In 2020, she started Santa Clara County's first Youth Poet Laureate Program as a chapter with Urban Word New York City as part of the National Youth Poet Laureate Initiative. She also co-founded Sunday Jump, a long-running open mic space in Los Angeles's Historic Filipinotown. She loves and advises Sampaguita Press, which she hopes you will support, too!
She will be a Visiting Scholar at the Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois, in Summer 2023, and she is an AWP Writer-to-Writer Mentee in fiction, working on a novel. She is an introvert, earrings collector, and expert at napping. She is always working on some writing project, somehow.