Reuters - Video

Edition: US | UK | IN | CN | JP

video Top News

New U.S. poet laureate reflects on 'dream built on 10,000 dreams'

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 01:13

Juan Felipe Herrera reflects on being named the U.S. poet laureate and on being the first Latino appointed to the position. Display (no reporter narration).

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

DISPLAY (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Juan Felipe Herrera, the son of migrant farm workers and the author of 28 books of poetry, novels for young adults and collections for children, began his term as the new U.S. poet laureate on Tuesday (September 15), the first Latino appointed to the position. The Library of Congress, which announced the appointment in June, hosted his inaugural reading, attended by friends, family, and even a childhood teacher of Herrera. "Well it's like a culmination. It's like the brilliant horizon that you reach after decades of work," Herrera, who is now the 21st U.S. poet laureate, told Reuters in a recent interview. "It's incredibly huge, monumental and it's a dream built on a 10,000 dreams." Born in Fowler, California, Herrera lived in tents and trailers as a child as his family moved around the state. A graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, he has also written novels for young adults, collections for children and the picture book "Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes." Herrera said while he's honored to be the first Latino appointed to the position, he believes there's more to it than that. "And as the first Latino, there are so many things involved in that. It's actually the same thing. It's about human expression, it's about creativity, it's about experimentation, it's about invitation, about inviting everyone. It's not really about me anymore. It's not really about me anymore. It's about opening up the great doors for everyone in the United States and beyond, especially in the United States," Herrera said. Herrera is also the author of more than a dozen poetry collections and received the National Book Critics Circle Award and the International Latino Book Award. He is the recipient of two Latino Hall of Fame Poetry Awards, several PEN prizes and had fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Currently a visiting profession at the University of Washington, Seattle, he also served as the Poet Laureate of California from 2012-2015. The poet laureate is selected for a one-year term by the Librarian of Congress.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

New U.S. poet laureate reflects on 'dream built on 10,000 dreams'

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 01:13