Juan Felipe Herrera grew up the son of Mexican immigrants in the migrant fields of California, and became the first Latino Poet Laureate of the United States. Exuberant and socially engaged, reflective and healing, wildly inventive and unpredictable, the award-winning poet will discuss his life’s work as it ranges from Aztlan to Paris, San Bernardino to Florida and back; from Larry King and Oprah, to the Janis Joplin days in the City by the Bay. Join us for a brimming, wide-open evening as Herrera blazes the endless chasms of culture on the “Laureate Trail.”
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Juan Felipe Herrera is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United State (2015-2016) and is the first Latino to hold the position. From 2012-2014, Herrera served as California State Poet Laureate. Herrera’s many collections of poetry include Notes on the Assemblage; Senegal Taxi; Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems, a recipient of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross The Border: Undocuments 1971-2007. He is also the author of Crashboomlove: A Novel in Verse, which received the Americas Award. His books of prose for children include: SkateFate, Calling The Doves, which won the Ezra Jack Keats Award; Upside Down Boy; and Cinnamon Girl: Letters Found Inside a Cereal Box. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth.
Tom Lutz is the founding editor in chief of Los Angeles Review of Books and the author of Crying, Doing Nothing, and the forthcoming Wanderlust: Around the World in 80 Anecdotes.