2023 - 2025 Youth Poet Laureate

The 2023 - 2025 Watsonville Youth Poet Laureates Are...

The Watsonville Poet Laureate Committee has announced the selection of Rachel Huerta and Eva Sophia Martinez Rodriguez as Watsonville’s first Youth Poet Laureates. We look forward to working with them to advance poetry and other literary arts in our community. 

Rachel Huerta

Photo of poet Rachel Huerta

Eva Sophia Martinez Rodriguez

Photo of poet Eva Martinez

About Rachel Huerta

Rachel is an artist and storyteller with a passion for social justice. She has an extensive history of community service -- including being a worship leader in Santa Cruz, working with children, and volunteering years to online literary forums such as LibriVox Audiobooks and The Young Writer's Workshop. She's been musically trained for the past 13 years. When Rachel's not experimenting with wordcraft, she's onstage somewhere, playing piano, or befriending stray cats. Rachel is part of the Class of 2024. She plans to major in Creative Writing and become an author.

mixed by Rachel Huerta

i am mixed.
the soil of strawberry fields
and the blush of cherry blossoms
run wild in my blood.
i listen silently as my abuelos talk over bowls of pozole
in a language that’s a whisper away from a song
a language that i fight to understand.
i trace a finger over the edges of my eyes
eyes that taper at the very ends
eyes that are ghosts of my harabeoji’s;
we both trick the cameras when we smile.
i am a vivid collage of the beauty that came before
and yet my pecan skin and untidy curls
are almost obtrusive
in a community of caucasians.
i am a brown girl with asian eyes.
i will never fit solidly into white america
but i’m always lingering on the outside of my cultures
looking through a window
at what i should be.

About Eva Sophia Martinez Rodriguez

My name is Eva Sophia Martinez Rodriguez and I was born and raised in Tijuana, Baja California. Up until I was seven years old I lived in Mexico and moved here to Watsonville, California at that age. I attended Alianza Charter School and I currently attend Aptos High School. Besides writing I enjoy playing sports, hanging out with my friends and family, listening to music and watching sunsets. 

Belonging

I always feel like I don’t belong anywhere
Not at home
I’m “too young” to be part of their conversations
I’m not “old enough” to do what they do
Not old enough to drink
Go out without an adult
Not old enough to be trusted and talked to like a person
Instead I get treated like the baby
The one that needs to be protected and never can go out because “she’s too young”
Can’t drink
Can’t drive
Can’t think with her mind
But it’s not my fault I’m “too young”
Not at school though
I’m “too old” there
I don’t know the slang
I don’t follow up on trends
I’m old schooled
And get seen as “too old” for someone to date
I worry too much about what other people think and when counting down the days
I’ll be the first to drive
The first to be an adult
It should feel nice
When really it’s not
The two places where I should feel like I belong
Are the two places where I feel like I don’t

About the Watsonville Youth Poet Laureate Committee and Program

The Youth Poet Laureate Committee is comprised of Wayne Hayashibara, Chair, Dr. Victoria Bañales, Magadalena Montagne, and Robert "Bob" Gomez, Watsonville Poet Laureate.

The Watsonville Poet Laureate program, was founded in 2021 by the Library Board of Trustees of the Watsonville Public Library.