Tags: juan felipe herrera | poet laureate

Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate, Is First Hispanic American in the Post

Image: Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate, Is First Hispanic American in the Post
(The Press-Enterprise via AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Jun 2015 02:09 PM

Juan Felipe Herrera was named U.S. poet laureate by the Library of Congress Wednesday, making him the first-ever Chicano to receive the prestigious position.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington selected Herrera for the honor, according to The Washington Post, and said in a statement that Herrera’s poems “champion voices, traditions and histories, as well as a cultural perspective, which is a vital part of our larger American identity.”

The 66-year-old writer produces works in both English and Spanish, sometimes mixing the two. His pieces range from sonnets and litanies to plays and books, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“I’m looking forward to a whole new world — and a new me,” Herrera told The Post. “The times now seem to be evolving with voices of color. All voices are important, and yet it seems that people of color have a lot to say, particularly if you look through the poetry of young people — a lot of questions and a lot of concerns about immigration and security issues, you name it, big questions. All this is swirling in the air.”

Former National Endowment for the Arts chairman Dana Gioia explained Herrera’s growing significance especially amongst the youth.

Herrera is “the first U.S. laureate whose work has emerged from the new oral traditions that have been transforming American poetry over the past quarter-century,” Gioia told The Post. “His work is performative and communal. In this sense, Herrera speaks powerfully to younger poets and audiences.”

The poet laureate is mostly an honorary position, though typically he or she does a few official readings and receives $35,000, the Times reported.

Herrera will also be given free use of Library of Congress’ pulpit to pursue his own programming.

“I’m here to encourage others to speak out and speak up and write with their voices and their family stories and their sense of humor and their deep concerns and their way of speaking their own languages,” Herrera told The Post. “I want to encourage people to do that with this amazing medium called poetry.”

Herrera will serve as the 21 U.S. poet laureate for one year, beginning with the National Book Festival Sept. 5. He is scheduled to do a reading at the Library of Congress Sept. 15.

“My mother would be so happy,” Herrera said. “She’d be clapping. Maybe crying. And dancing.”

Related Stories:

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
Juan Felipe Herrera was named U.S. poet laureate by the Library of Congress Wednesday, making him the first-ever Chicano to receive the prestigious position.
juan felipe herrera, poet laureate
410
2015-09-10
Wednesday, 10 Jun 2015 02:09 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved