Juan Felipe Herrera is the nation's 1st Latino poet laureate

Juan Felipe Herrera
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Juan Felipe Herrera is the nation's 1st Latino poet laureate
U.S. Poet Laureate #JuanFelipeHerrera: 'The audience is half of the poem'... http://t.co/DoRFAM1RZt http://t.co/GKv7aGWmyI
Congrats to #JuanFelipeHerrera, new U.S. #Poet Laureate. #ManavSachdevaMaasoom Poet Laureate @LuceFoundation. #Poetry http://t.co/ram4ScVEWB
#JuanFelipeHerrera is the new poet laureate of the United States — PLOTUS, in the lingo. http://t.co/oDCWMN68nH http://t.co/ZtlZNK2bht
#JuanFelipeHerrera of California to Be Next Poet Laureate http://t.co/OwXkeVyzP4 http://t.co/EnrvG2nfIk
Congratulations to new US poet laureate #JuanFelipeHerrera! (We like your Twitter handle too, @cilantroman) http://t.co/70uVx4ehQO
This is a mega-honor for me for my family and my parents who came up north before and after the Mexican Revolution - #JuanFelipeHerrera
Distracted by good news in paper #JuanFelipeHerrera, son of farm workers & UCLA grad, named 1st Latino poet laureate http://t.co/tdjwRCoy5m
Former @UCRiverside prof Juan Felipe Herrera has been named Poet Laureate! @librarycongress http://t.co/NGrBiQs8O5 #JuanFelipeHerrera
"You are Mexican. One half Mexican the other half Mexican, then the half against itself." #JuanFelipeHerrera, new US 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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