Oh What a Night!: “Speak the People/the Spark/el Poema”

Juan Felipe Herrera joins Quetzal, a Grammy Award-winning Chicano rock group, on stage for a musical performance to mark the end of Herrera’s second term as poet laureate at the Library of Congress, April 26, 2017. Photo by Shawn Miller.

Two weeks have passed since Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera‘s whirlwind day-long celebration, “Speak the People/the Spark/el Poema,” marking the end of his second term. I don’t know about you, but my head is still swirling and swimming from the festivities, and I keep catching myself humming tunes like “Ms. United States” and “Pillow People” (if these references are lost on you, see below) around the house, on the metro, in front of strangers—you get the idea.

In case you missed Juan Felipe’s farewell, don’t fret: Thanks to the Library’s newly minted livestreaming initiative, you can already recap the day’s events here (noon choral concert) and here (evening panel and Quetzal concert).

And, as always, the events were beautifully photographed:

Fresno State Chamber Singers join Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera for a musical performance to mark the end of Herrera’s second term as poet laureate at the Library of Congress, April 26, 2017. Photo by Shawn Miller.

 

Fresno State Chamber Singers with Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera. Photo by Shawn Miller.

 

Herrera in conversation with Rafael Pérez-Torres, Louie Pérez, Hugo Morales and Martha Gonzalez. Photo by Shawn Miller.

 

Herrera in conversation with Rafael Pérez-Torres, Louie Pérez, Hugo Morales and Martha Gonzalez. Photo by Shawn Miller.

 

Quetzal celebrates the conclusion of Juan Felipe Herrera’s second term as the 21st poet laureate with a performance. Photo by Shawn Miller.

 

Quetzal celebrates the conclusion of Juan Felipe Herrera’s term as the 21st poet laureate with a performance. Photo by Shawn Miller.

2 Comments

  1. Shirl
    May 11, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    What an inspiration Mr. Herrera has been as our poet laureate.
    Full of open joy we all need so very much.

  2. Aerle T. Jones
    May 11, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    I am sad to see the current poet laurient go primarily because he has the same name as my guardian Attorney Ann Herrera.

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