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Mighty Mike McGee, Newly Minted Poet Laureate

Santa Clara County has a newly minted, shining star Poet Laureate and his name is 
Mighty Mike McGee!


Mike McGee hosted the Milpitas Library Youth
Poetry Slam on Wednesday, February 7, 2018.


Mike McGee is a poet and community arts dynamo who has devoted his life to perpetuating the art of poetry and performance. He is a national and international Poetry Slam Champion, as well as a beloved local icon.

Mike has hosted Youth Poetry Slams at the Milpitas Library since 2004. Most recently he hosted the Youth Slam held on Wednesday, February 7th -- Mike's first performance following the offical announcement by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors that he was chosen to serve as Poet Laureate!

We are honored to announce that Milpitas Library will be hosting Mike McGee's Poet Laureate Inauguration Celebration on Saturday, April 7*, 12pm to 2pm.

When we first contacted him, over 13 years ago, Mike readily agreed to help us launch the Milpitas Library's Poetry Slam tradition. Mike also introduced us to the community of Slam performers in Santa Clara County, including past Santa Clara County Poet Laureate, David Perez. Mike easily engages the teens and preteens who participate in Milpitas Library's Youth Slams.
 He is a warm, down-to-earth, and very approachable guy. As Gary Singh of the Metro writes:

Perhaps the most important aspect of McGee's ascendence to laureate status, in my view, is that he is the first ever county poet laureate to hail from the actual streets as opposed to the constraints of the academy. He doesn't have an MFA or a Ph.D. He never taught a class at San Jose State or flipped through 700-page Norton anthologies to learn about anapestic or synecdoche. He'd rather tour the country, crash on couches and win international slam poetry contests than drink hotel scotch with academics at writers' conferences.

The first Youth Slam Mike hosted at Milpitas Library was in the Fall of 2004 and those teens and preteens are well grown into adulthood. During the Youth Slam held last week, we asked who in the attendance was 13 years old and over half the audience raised their hands! I duly noted that the present day 13-year-olds were crawling around as little babies when Mike McGee first arrived on the Milpitas Library Slam scene!

It has been a fantastical journey with Mighty Mike McGee and we look forward to continuing through his tenure as Santa Clara County Poet Laureate and for many more years of Youth Poetry Slams.


(lMike McGee, center, with Milpitas Library Youth Slam Founders,
Lauren Teixeira, Children's Librarian and Don Phillips, Teen Librarian)

Mighty Mike McGee shows he received the Milpitas Library's Lifetime Poetry Slam Achievement Award, February 7, 2018.

You can read more about Mike McGee and the events he hosts and/or performs in on his website and on his Facebook page.

*Inauguration Celebration date has changed from March 24 to April 7.
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