Watsonville Poet Laureate & Youth Poet Laureate

Robert P. (Bob) Gómez

poet bob gomez playing a stringed instrument in the watsonville city plaza

The 2022 - 2024 Watsonville Poet Laureate Is Robert. P. (Bob) Gómez

Learn more about the current Watsonville Poet Laureate Robert. P. (Bob) Gómez. 

The 2023 - 2025 Watsonville Youth Poet Laureates Are:

Rachel Huerta & 

Eva Sophia Martinez Rodriguez

Learn more about our youth poet laureates.

Photo of poet Rachel Huerta
Photo of poet Eva Martinez

Upcoming Community Events with the Watsonville Poet Laureates

Tierra y Justicia: Artists for Environmental Justice

Friday, May 10th, 2024
Location: Henry J. Mello Center for the Performing Arts, Watsonville, CA
Time: 7pm 
Poets: Bob Gomez, Rachel Huerta & Eva Sophia Martinez Rodriguez

Establishment of the Watsonville Youth Poet Laureate Position

The Library Board of Trustees of the Watsonville Public Library in 2021 approved the position of a Watsonville Poet Laureate. In January 2022, via a proclamation, Robert “Bob” Gomez was recognized at a city council meeting. Watsonville Public Library recommends the establishment of a Youth Poet Laureate Program to recognize a youth under the age of twenty for their literary achievements with a commitment to and a passion for promoting awareness of poetry and whose work (literary or otherwise) demonstrates a commitment to social justice, equity, and diversity.

The selected Watsonville Poet Laureate will be appointed by the Mayor via a proclamation at a city council meeting an serve a two year term with a small honorarium.  (The Poet Laureate Guidelines are available in Spanish also). 


Individuals can nominate themselves or be nominated by other city residents to be the Watsonville Poet Laureate through an application made available at the Watsonville Public Library.

Eligibility Criteria / Qualifications

• The Watsonville Poet Laureate will be available to serve a two year term
  The individual will be a student that attends or has attended school(s) in the Watsonville area;
  Submit 5 original, unpublished poems;
  Submit 1 letter of recommendation from a teacher, family member, or friend;
Agree to be videotaped and/or audio recorded.
  The individual must be between the ages of twelve (12) and nineteen (19). 


☙ Represent the City of Watsonville and the art of poetry through outreach.
☙ Work with the current Watsonville Poet Laureate to participate in poetry and literary activities of the Watsonville Public Library,
☙ Read poems at ceremonial events (examples could include at the unveiling of a new building or bridge that will benefit the community), at City Council or other public meetings.
☙ Champion the art of poetry and the spoken word in the city in person and on social media.
☙ Encourage and recruit other young poets to participate in readings and events. 
☙ Attend literary and other cultural events in the city as appropriate.
☙ Able to give and participate in 5-10 public readings and events that are free and open to the public, including visits to schools and/or events for young people.
☙ Join other local poets in the search for the next Youth Poet Laureate

leaves on textured background and text watsonville poet laureate

Establishment of the Watsonville Poet Laureate Position

The Board of Library Trustees of the Watsonville Public Library approved the establishment of the position of the Watsonville Poet Laureate, commencing in January 2022, to elevate the art of poetry in the City of Watsonville and to help celebrate the literary arts. 

☙  Eligibility Criteria, Qualifications, & Duties are listed in the Poet Laureate Guidelines available in English or Spanish

Watsonville Poet Laureates

☙  2022 - 2024 Robert (Bob) Gómez

Application to serve on the Poet Laureate Committee

Those interested in serving on the committee to select the Watsonville Poet Laureate or Watsonville Youth Poet Laureate should fill out this application and submit it to the library director.