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A Visit From Our Nation’s Official Poet: Juan Felipe Herrera

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Our nation’s Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, will be coming to Sacramento on Nov. 12 to share his indigenous voice with guests of the Crest Theatre, thanks to the Sacramento Poetry Center and the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission.

As the first Mexican-American and Latino to hold the position of U.S. Poet Laureate, Herrera has had to overcome many challenges, which he has turned into a prestigious timeline of accomplishments.

Among the span of his career, Herrera has produced an impressive collection of poetry, short stories and published books, which have earned him over two dozen awards and grants – including the Americas Award, two Latino Hall of Fame Poetry Awards and the Smithsonian Children’s Book of the Year Award.

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In anticipation of the event, Sacramento Poetry Center President, Bob Stanley, spoke fondly about the impact Herrera has on his audiences.

“He’s an amazing performer, he’s a great poet [and] he’s an important person in our culture,” said Stanley. “He’s just a story teller, he just starts talking and you’re laughing and you’re learning. He does a lot of issues even as he’s telling stories.”

As the tentative future of our country is more-or-less determined in this week’s presidential election, Herrera’s visit to the state’s capital falls in line with the transition of seasons and power, a line in which his work has creatively found a way to unite crowds.

Since becoming our nation’s official poet, Herrera has implemented a structure for community-based ventures curated by the Library of Congress. “La Casa de Colores” in 2015, and most recently, “The Technicolor Adventures of Catalina,” are his most ambitious and forward-thinking projects determined to bring poets of all ages together through expression.

Saturday night will be a special opportunity for those in attendance, as the opening reception welcomes guests to purchase one of his novels, get it signed, and briefly engage with the poet, author, teacher, artist and activist, himself – as time permits. Accordingly, time seems to be his most precious commodity these days, as his demanding role keeps him traveling throughout the country to spread his fluid message and example of creative perseverance.

From the migrant farms of the San Joaquin Valley to a pair of masters degrees in the fields of creative writing and social anthropology, Juan Felipe Herrera is coming to Sacramento to share his indigenous voice – a national treasure.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit sacramentopoetrycenter.com.

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