• California Poet Laureate Visits Pasadena Teens March 19

    PASADENA - California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera will visit Pasadena teens and invited guests at a special appearance from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 19 at the La Pintoresca Teen Education Center, 1415 North Raymond Avenue, Pasadena.

    Herrera’s visit with Pasadena youth is part of several appearances and events being made locally by the state’s celebrated Poet Laureate for National Poetry Month in April.  The events are being hosted and organized by the Latino Arts Network of California and Latino Heritage.

    Since his appointment last year by Governor Jerry Brown, Herrera has been traveling the state eliciting words, stanzas and poems from the public and urging Californians to get involved with poetry and celebrate its vital place in American culture.

    After his visit at the teen center, Herrera plans to stop by Pasadena City College for a reception with students and guests, according to event organizers.  His third appearance in Pasadena will be a special public presentation at 89.3 KPCC, Southern California Public Radio’s Crawford Family Forum from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday, April 27.  The event—“An Afternoon of Poetry with Juan Felipe Herrera California Poet Laureate”—will be open to the general public but reservations are required by contacting www.scpr.org.  KPCC’s Crawford Family Forum is at the radio station’s Pasadena headquarters, 474 South Raymond Ave.

    Pasadena’s “Teen Voices” poetry group will welcome Herrera for a special poetry workshop.  Angela Aguirre, local poet and instructor, will join Herrera and engage students in discussions and poetry exercises.  The teens and their families will be invited to participate in the larger public presentation on April 27, event organizers said.

    Herrera, www.juanfelipepoet.com, in the late 1960s became involved with the new socially centered poetics and the Civil Rights movement—reading and performing at schools, prisons, farm worker camps and in many college campuses across the nation.

    During the past 40 years, Herrera has published 29 books in poetry, spoken word, novels for young adults and collections for children.  His recent awards include the Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Book Critic’s Circle Award, the Latino International Award, the PEN USA award and Josephine Miles Pen/Oakland Award.  He is a member of the Board of Chancellors for of the Academy of American Poetry.  He served as the Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair for seven years and is currently professor of creative writing at UC Riverside.

    The Latino Arts Network of California (LAN) www.latinoarts.net is a statewide alliance of non-profit community cultural centers, artists and patrons.  Media Contact is Rebecca Nevarez, (626) 228-5016, rebecca@latinoarts.net.

    Latino Heritage is an organization dedicated to promoting knowledge of Latino experience and history through cultural and educational programs.  The organization’s largest program is the annual Latino Heritage Parade in Pasadena.

    Herrera’s visit is also supported in part by Pasadena City College, the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission, City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division and the California Arts Council.  For more information about the City of Pasadena, go online to www.cityofpasadena.net.

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