For Latinos, young and old, seeing a Mexican-American poet crowned as the nation’s Poet Laureate is a deeply moving experience. At the hands of crummy schools or a discouraging family member, many often suppress their artistic impulses.
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Imagine the joy Chicano poet Juan Felipe Herrera felt when he was announced as the new Poet Laureate of the United States on Thursday morning (June 10) . He is the first-ever Latino to be fêted with such an honor.
Herrera came up in the ’60s when Mexican-American pride spilled into his native California. The 66-year-old writer’s work largely deals with the immigrant experience and Mexican-American themes, yet his prose and poetry appeal to the masses.
Considering his predecessors are almost all Anglo, this announcement is a testament to the Latino influence in the arts and culture of this country.
Photo Credit: Blue Flower Arts