Juan Felipe Herrera, U.S. Poet Laureate: A Resource Guide
American poet Juan Felipe Herrera served as U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry from 2015-2017 at the Library of Congress. This guide provides access to selected print and online resources related to Herrera’s life and work.
Anne Holmes, Program Specialist, Literary Initiatives
Peter Armenti, Reference Specialist, Researcher and Reference Services Division
Created: June 5, 2020
Last Updated: April 12, 2022
On June 10, 2015, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced the appointment of Juan Felipe Herrera as the 21st Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. On making the appointment, Dr. Billington said:
I see in Herrera’s poems the work of an American original—work that takes the sublimity and largesse of “Leaves of Grass” and expands upon it. His poems engage in a serious sense of play—in language and in image—that I feel gives them enduring power. I see how they champion voices and traditions and histories, as well as a cultural perspective, which is a vital part of our larger American identity.
Herrera participated in the 2015 National Book Festival, which took place on September 5. His inaugural reading as Poet Laureate occurred in the Library's Coolidge Auditorium on Tuesday, September 15, 2015. He spent much of his first term as Laureate traveling across the country conducting reading, lectures, and workshops with students and members of the general public. In all, Herrera made some 130 official appearances during his two terms as Laureate.