Press Release Detail
|June 10, 2015||Caitlin Fitzwater|
Former California Poet Laureate becomes first Mexican American to hold this national post
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today announced the appointment of Juan Felipe Herrera as the Library's 21st Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, for 2015-2016. Herrera will take up his duties in the fall. From 2012 to 2014, Herrera served as California Poet Laureate upon the appointment of Governor Jerry Brown.
- Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-poet-laureate-herrera-20150610-story.html
"I think people heard about what he was doing as California poet laureate in ways that you don't always hear about what state poets laureate do," says Robert Casper, head of the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. "That was really exciting to see."
- UC Riverside: http://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/29807
"This appointment as poet laureate of the United States wouldn't have been possible without being at UC Riverside, the California Arts Council and Gov. Brown," Herrera said. "We are all poets, and this is for all of us."
- Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/juan-felipe-herrera-becomes-first-hispanic-american-us-poet-laureate/2015/06/09/12de51b8-0eb0-11e5-adec-e82f8395c032_story.html
“I’m looking forward to a whole new world — and a new me,” Herrera said from his home in Fresno, Calif. “The times now seem to be evolving with voices of color. All voices are important, and yet it seems that people of color have a lot to say, particularly if you look through the poetry of young people — a lot of questions and a lot of concerns about immigration and security issues, you name it, big questions. All this is swirling in the air.”
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The Mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Donn K. Harris, Vice Chair Susan Steinhauser, Michael Alexander, Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Nashormeh Lindo, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov.