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Watch Juan Felipe Herrera’s Inaugural Reading as Poet Laureate

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Juan Felipe Herrera‘s inaugural reading as U.S. Poet Laureate on September 15 was widely praised by the media and others in attendance. Ron Charles, reviewing the event in the Washington Post, noted:

If there were any doubt, Herrera, the first Mexican American U.S. poet laureate, made it clear Tuesday night that he’s bringing a new sense of wonder and drama to the position. His inaugural reading was infused with humility and graciousness, but it was also an elaborately choreographed event informed by his years as a teacher and activist.

For those of you who were unable to make it to the live performance, we are pleased today to make a recording of the event available on our site. Click on the video below to be captivated by Herrera’s rare combination of modesty, passion, and powerful words.

21st Poet Laureate Inaugural Reading: Juan Felipe Herrera, September 15, 2015

Comments (2)

  1. Just lovely. What a fine poet laureate. He will inspire and honor us with his words.

    Question: Where can I find a copy online of “Imagine What You Could Do.” the last poem Mr. Herrera read?

    Thanks for this.


    • Dear Shirl,

      The official text of Mr. Herrera’s poem “Imagine What You Could Do” is not yet available online. If you look at the transcript of the Mr. Herrera’s inaugural reading you’ll find a transcription of the poem (note: Spanish words are not transcribed), but it is not lineated.

      In case you are interested in a direct link to an audio recording of this poem, here is one made available through the Capital Public Radio website.

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