Mar 24, 2012
Set to be the first Latino poet laureate in California history, Juan Felipe Herrera holds the Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair in the creative writing department at the University of California Riverside.
In addition to renowned poetry, Herrera has authored 28 books. The son of Mexican migrant workers, Juan Felipe Herrera, 63, attended San Diego High School, the University of California Los Angeles and Stanford University.
The native Californian holds a master's degree in Social Anthropology as well as a master's degree in Fine Arts, and he sits on the board of chancellors for the Academy of American Poets.
Professor Herrera is excited about being appointed the state's first Hispanic poet laureate and wants to utilize his two-year appointment to stir up interest in poetry while bringing Californians together.
"I want it to be a fountain of words where all our stories are told. Let's have poetry be at the heart of what a democracy is," said Herrera, who lives in Redlands and is the father of five and grandfather of seven.
The Poet Laureate of California is a Governor-appointed statewide advocate for the art of poetry, inspiring an emerging generation of literary artists and educating Californians about the poets and authors who have influenced the Golden State throughout history.
Juan Felipe Herrera Poet Laureate of California