Juan Felipe Herrera is the nation's 1st Latino poet laureate
Juan Felipe Herrera, the son of migrant farm workers in California, is the first Latino to be named U.S. poet laureate.
The announcement came on Wednesday by the Library of Congress, appointing Herrera as the nation's 21st poet laureate for 2015-2016.
Herrera was born in 1948 in Fowler, California. His family of migrant workers moved often, at times living in tents and trailers by the roadside. His father learned English by paying fellow workers pennies to teach him new words.
Like his father, Herrera grew up speaking Spanish and struggled to speak English in school. He was eventually able to come out of his shell by channeling his creativity through song. He participated in the choir in middle school through high school.
He went on to graduate from UCLA, earned graduate degrees from Stanford and the University of Iowa's Writing Workshop, and became a teacher.
From 2012 to 2015, Herrera served as poet laureate of California. In March, he retired from teaching creative writing at the University of California, Riverside and is now a visiting professor in ethnic studies at the University of Washington.
His responsibilities as poet laureate include crafting poetry projects, and broadening the audience for poetry.
Herrera said he is humbled and overwhelmed to receive the appointment.
Via Fox News Latino
"Yes, I am the first Latino poet laureate in the United States, but I'm also here for everyone and from everyone. My voice is made by everyone's voices," Herrera said.
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