Bob Gómez, Watsonville’s first Poet Laureate, promotes poetry, oral performance, and songwriting for K-12 students. He is in the process of developing a Youth Poet Laureate program for Watsonville. As a Migrant Resource Teacher and Bilingual Resource Teacher in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District (1984-2010), Bob has provided a diverse range of writing workshops from Haiku to stories told in songs called Corridos. He also performs songs for students and often asks students to finish lines with rhymes.
His public persona has included satire, comedy, parody, celebratory music, and songwriting, so he is a somewhat well-known figure in his community. People expect to see him with his guitar and present poetry or song or both at the drop of a hat, and he does—a kind of public teaching in a community setting, whether it be a graduation ceremony, retirement party, birthday, or funeral.
Photo Credit: Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian
“Poetry is powerful. It can change us, move us. That is why I write—to move people.”—Bob Gómez