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Juan Felipe Herrera - First Latino U.S. Poet Laureate

By MPL Staff on Jun 11, 2015 10:44 AM

This September, Juan Felipe Herrera will become the first Latino poet to serve as poet laureate. He was named California's poet laureate in 2012 and served in that position through 2014. As NPR reports, he is a child of California, hardly leaving the state in 66 years, “born to a family of migrant farm workers, he bounced from tent to trailer for much of his youth in Southern California, eventually going on to study at UCLA and Stanford. Years later, he stepped out of the state to attend the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, before — you guessed it — returning home to California.”

Herrera has written many books including poetry, short stories, and works for children and young adults. Most recently, he published Senegal Taxi, though he may be better known for 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can't Cross the Border: Undocuments 1971 - 2007 and Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems

The Poetry Foundation offers more information about Herrera as well as several poems; Blood on the Wheel, Grafik and I Am Merely Posing for a Photograph.

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