Juan Felipe Herrera on What's Your Why? with Emy diGrappaJuan Felipe Herrera is the first Mexican American appointed as the 21st United States Poet Laureate. Herrera grew up in California as the son to migrant farm-workers.

His childhood as the son of Mexican immigrants strongly shaped much of his work and he began loving poetry by singing about the Mexican Revolution with his mother.

He has spent his life crossing borders, erasing boundaries and expanding the many voices that illuminate our larger American identity.

Herrera was educated at UCLA and Stanford University. In addition to publishing more than a dozen collections of poetry, Herrera has written short stories, young adult novels, and children’s literature.

“Life is infinite but our existence is finite, so we have to meet up with that paradox. It’s literally – walking freely – speaking with others – listening to others – enjoying this amazing incredible thing called life and there’s conflict in it and we need to walk right through it and respond to it.” Juan Felipe Herrera

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