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Pic of the Week: An Encore for the Poet Laureate

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Juan Felipe Herrera with young poets Sarita Sol Gonzalez (left) and Elena Medina. Photo by Shawn Miller.
Juan Felipe Herrera with young poets Sarita Sol Gonzalez (left) and Elena Medina. Photo by Shawn Miller.

Juan Felipe Herrera, U.S. poet laureate consultant in poetry, has been appointed a second term – an appointment announced, then celebrated in the Coolidge Auditorium on Wednesday night.

“What a great joy, what a great joy this is,” Herrera, the 21st laureate, told the audience. “How beautiful it is to be here. How beautiful the Library of Congress is. How fabulous are the materials – the archives, the manuscripts, the paintings, the prints.”

During his first term, Herrera launched the “La Casa de Colores” project, which invited the public to contribute verses to a poem about the American experience. For his second term, he will develop a new project to be announced later this summer.

At Wednesday’s event, which also served to close out Herrera’s first term as poet laureate, he had two up-and-coming “poet laureate chicas” – 11-year-old Sarita Sol Gonzalez and 12-year-old Elena Medina – join him on stage to read not only their poems but a poem the three had composed together.

Mark Harsell, editor of the Library of Congress staff newsletter, The Gazette, contributed to this report. 

Comments (3)

  1. This is great news. I am so pleased. He has done so much to bring poetry to the public. To make it accessible, and participatory.

  2. How wonderful that Mr Hererra would share this special moment with these young ladies to perform their work .

  3. What pride I felt when US Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, invited “Poet Laureate Chicas”, my granddaughter Elena Izcalli Medina and Sarita Sol Gonzalez to share the stage reciting poetry with him at his final lecture at the LOC.

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