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La Casa de Colores Update: More Good News

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La Casa de Colores has been going strong for almost six months! We hope you have been following its journey along with us. If not, and you are asking yourself “What is La Casa de Colores?” please visit the project’s website to see all it has to offer. A brief reminder: La Casa de Colores is Juan Felipe Herrera’s Poet Laureate project, which houses two online initiatives, La Familia and El Jardín. The combination of these two initiatives, as Juan Felipe says it, “feed[s] the hearth and heart of our communities with creativity and imagination.” More details below. Click here to read about the project’s 2015 September launch.

La Familia (The Family), an epic poem in which “all our words will be seen and our voices be heard,” requires the participation of the public–the first of its kind–by calling anyone and everyone to contribute to the poem. Each submission should respond to its month’s theme and can consist of up to 200 characters. Here are the poem’s first, second, third, and fourth segments. Stay tuned for the launching of the poem’s fifth segment on March 1st.

El Jardín (The Garden), the project’s second initiative, is a space where Juan Felipe interacts with primary sources from the Library’s collections as well as those curating the materials. Each addition, El Jardín features a video of our Laureate exploring the Library’s materials, a curator’s comments, and a poem response written by the Laureate himself. You can find the first four installments of El Jardín here, here, here, and here, respectively.

And now for more good news: each La Casa initiative has been updated! La Familia has a brand new theme, “My Democracy,” and El Jardín’s fifth installment features the Laureate discussing the Huexotzinco Codex with Catalina Gómez, a reference librarian in the Library’s Hispanic Division.

So go explore La Casa de Colores! And make sure to submit your contribution to this month’s La Familia theme, for which Juan Felipe wrote the below prompt.

“My Democracy”

People are marching. Their painted cardboard signs push toward the rough sky. Their songs, raw and sweet, move thousands. “Time is of essence—it is an emergency,” their songs say. “Life, children, homes and families are waiting,” they chant, “We shall not be moved.” Everything is at stake. “We want a different kind of society!” they scream. “This is our democracy, our voice must be heard,” they say as they move along with difficulty and hope.

Democracy does not come easy. It can be effortless, of course—in your own heart, that is: being open, being filled with acceptance, patience, compassion, creativity and concern for others. In this La Casa de Colores theme, think about YOUR democracy. What is it made of, how you can attain it, what do we all need to do to make it ours? In a few powerful words, make your democracy blossom alongside others.