Gilbert Seeks New Poet Laureate

This could be you (the next GHS Poet Laureate)

This could be you (the next GHS Poet Laureate)

Daniel Dorado, Staff Writer

National Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo

Did you know that we have a position on our campus for a poet to fill? It’s the role of POET LAUREATE. It’s very similar to the job of National Poet Laureate, the poet who writes the words that represent the society in which they live. Joy Harjo is currently serving as our country’s poet laureate. She is the first Native American to hold this title.

You probably remember Amanda Gorman, the poet from Los Angeles who became the first national YOUTH poet laureate and spoke at the Presidential inauguration and Super Bowl this year.

Amanda Gorman
Alexandra Huynh

She has since grown up and moved on to pursue a career in poetry and service, while the new National YOUTH poet laureate, also from California, is Alexandra Huynh. These young poets have inspired writers around the world to give poetry a try.

The City of Anaheim also has an official Poet Laureate by the name of Grant Hier. In 2018, he visited Ms. Frese’s English class and has since kept up a hearty friendship with our school and our student writers. Selena Quiroz recited a poem at one of Grant Hier’s events at the Anaheim Public Library.

Grant Hier visits the student poets of GHS

Gilbert High School, home to the Hearts and Souls Storytellers and Poetry Club, has published several annual collections of student writing, art, and poetry over the years (since 2002). Gilbert High School has also nominated a poetry ambassador each year since 2018. Not many high schools can claim the same. Cypress High School is one of the few schools in the district that aspires to make poetry a bigger part of their school culture. There, Mrs. Stewart started DIAL Magazine (2019-2021) in hopes of inspiring poets from across the district to submit their writing for publication.

In order to keep Gilbert High School on the map of poetic inspiration, Ms. Frese continues to advise the Hearts and Souls Storytellers and Poetry Club and hosts weekly events in Room 12 on Thursdays.  This week she held a poetry and pizza party to help find the poets we need to re-establish the vibe and the role of Poet Laureate here on campus. Who will our new Poet Laureate be?

If it is you, you will be part of a storied group of students who make history, leave their creative mark on campus as a legacy to be remembered forever. Here are some of the poetry club highlights through the years:

2017 Hearts and Souls at OCSA Poetry Contest

Club members in 2017 participated in the OCSA Poetry Slam in Santa Ana, representing Gilbert High School with passion, poise, and power through their spoken word.

Selena Quiroz and Keke Gibson deliver the spoken words at Graduation

“Keke” Caitlyn Gibson Peterson was the first student to take on the role and responsibility of Poet Laureate at Gilbert High School in the Fall of 2018. She passed the torch to Selena Quiroz, and both students spoke at their graduation ceremony in 2019. Kayli Woodside would inherit the job for the 2020 virtual graduation ceremony after  “Simy” Jordan Sims (Fall 2019) established the job specifications, roles, and responsibilities to be a great Poet Laureate.  Throughout the 2020-2021 online school year, poet/artist/musician Guadalupe Urrutia participated in several poetry projects in hopes of keeping the vibe alive. She also wrote a poem that was recited by Antony Attalla at the 2021 graduation ceremony.

Guadalupe Urrutia
“Keke” Gibson
Jordan “Simy” Sims
Kayli Woodside









Since poetry is such an interesting and vital part of the Gilbert school culture, it is important that a new Poet Laureate be named soon to represent the school. If you are interested in participating in the selection process for Poet Laureate, applications are being accepted now. Forms and signatures will be accepted through next week 10/28. Here are the links to the application form, info, and signature form:


Poetry 101 (Information page)

Poet Laureate Signature Form

Poet Laureate Application FORM