La Casa de Colores and La Familia is Up and Running!

La Casa de Colores

Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera’s national poetry project, “La Casa de Colores,” has launched online. Click the image above to visit the project’s website.

The following is a guest post by Rob Casper, head of the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress.

I write you now, still recovering from Juan Felipe Herrera’s first couple of weeks as our 21st Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. His laureateship kicked off at the National Book Festival, where he read from his book Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes to a packed audience in the Children’s Pavilion. On Tuesday night he again took the stage, at the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium, for his opening readingRon Charles wrote a synopsis of the event that brought tears to my eyes.

In between the two readings, Juan Felipe spent days viewing collections in the Library’s American Folklife Center, Hispanic Division, and Prints and Photographs Division, and we shot video for each. This video will be a part of a web feature called “El Jardin,” which we will launch soon on the PLC website.

That’s not my big news, though: today I am delighted to let you know about the Laureate’s other web feature, as part of his project “La Casa de Colores“: an epic poem called “La Familia.” For this poem, the Laureate is calling for submissions of up to 200 characters each, on monthly themes.

For the first time, the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry is asking for anyone and everyone to help him create a poem. And the page is up online! So please submit, and help us get the word outwe want as many voices as possible to join the family! We already got submissions from Mexico City, Los Angeles, Boston, and Little River, Kansas . . . hopefully soon all 50 states will be represented, as well as countries around the world.

And if you didn’t yet catch them, you can listen to Juan Felipe’s most recent interviews: on NPR’s “Morning Edition” and the Kojo Nmadi Show, and for SF


  1. Esther Perez Martin
    September 30, 2015 at 10:55 am

    it was tough finding a poem I wrote that had 200 characters or less; most of mine had at least 300 plus
    thank for the opportunity to submit
    from fresno, California

  2. Cathy
    October 20, 2015 at 8:24 am

    We are a group of poets based in Harlem, NYC that cross all divides of age, race, culture and disability. We are excited to be participating in this national expression of creativity.

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