The Library of Congress announced that Juan Felipe Herrera is the new U.S. Poet Laureate. Herrera is the first Latino to hold the honor. He will be succeeding Charles Wright in this honored position.
Juan Felipe Herrera was born to migrant farm workers in 1948 and during much of his childhood his family lived in tents and trailers. He went on to graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1972 with a bachelors in Social Anthropology. Later he achieved a masters degree from Stanford University and a Masters of Fine Arts from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He was a professor at the University of California, Riverside until 2015 when he retired stated Handy . He is currently a visiting professor at the University of Washington, Seattle. Herrera’s poetry often has an immigration theme but also incorporates traditions, histories, and cultural perspectives that are part of the American identity. In addition to poetry, he is a notable author of young adult and children’s books. The complete story can be found here.