U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera to Serve Second Term

Posted on April 16, 2016

Juan Felipe Herrera at University of California-Riverside

U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera will serve a second term as the 21st Poet Laureate. The announcement was made by the Library of Congress. Herrera says he was given an inspiration tsunami from the communities he visited during his first term. Herrera's second term will begin on September 1st, 2016.

Herrera says in a statement, "Deep gratitude and great joy, and many thank-you's to the Library. I look forward to continuing my first year's momentum and sharing the inspiration tsunami given to me in every community that I visit throughout the U.S.A. as Laureate."

Acting Librarian of Congress David Mao says in the appointment, "In his first term as Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera traveled the country championing poetry; he also launched an ambitious project on the Library's website. We look forward to seeing what Herrera will accomplish in his second term, and we know he will continue to inspire and educate with his warmth, enthusiasm, and creative genius."

Herrara's first term as Poet Laureate included an online project called La Casa de Colores. The project is comprised of two initiatives. These include a submission-based epic poem called "La Familia" and "El Jardín," a series chronicling his experiences and discoveries exploring the Library's vast resources and collections.

Herrera is the first Hispanic poet to serve in the position. He was appointed to the position in 2015. Herrera served as the Poet Laureate of California from 2012-2015.

Herrera is the author of 30 books of poetry, novels for young adults and collections for children. Herrera's most recent work is Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes (2014), a picture book showcasing inspiring Hispanic- and Latino-Americans. His latest poetry collection is Notes on the Assemblage (2015).

Photo: Courtesy University of California-Riverside