"I'm a political poet - let us say a 'human' poet, a poet that's concerned with the plight of people who suffer. If words can be of assistance, then that's what I'm going to use."
Juan Felipe Herrera is the 2015-2016 Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress. In 2012, he was named poet laureate of California. Herrera is a winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for “Half the World in Light” and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 1990, Herrera was a distinguished teaching fellow at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and he has taught elsewhere, including in prisons. He is the author of more than 25 books of poetry, novels for young adults and collections for children, most recently "Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes" (Dial), a picture book showcasing inspirational Hispanic and Latino Americans. Herrera’s most recent collection of poems is "Senegal Taxi."
Herrera was appointed to a second term as Poet Laureate by acting Librarian of Congress David Mao at the beginning of Herrera's end-of the-term lecture on April 13, 2016.