Imagine you did something so well, that folks came to listen or see you do that skill. Imagine that you were so good at the art or skill that you were paid to share that talent. Now imagine that your work expressed the sentiments of a large enough pool of people that you were noticed by not only your peers, but also by the Governor of the State of California.
If you can imagine that you have some sense of what it takes to be designated California Poet Laureate.
Our poet laureate is tasked with introducing poetry to those who might have not have many opportunities to gain exposure to the form.
Juan Felipe Herrera is our current Poet Laureate and he is the first Chicano/Latino to be elevated to that position. 29 volumes of his works of poetry, spoken word, novels for young adults, and collections for children have been published. He has won many national awards, is a member of the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poetry, and teaches creative writing at U.C., Riverside.
He speaks of that campus – “UCR is verse by our students written in many alphabets of breath, cultural meters and social stanzas”.
If you are in the area please drop by Creveling Lounge to meet our Poet Laureate.