U.S. poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera to appear at SHU

Juan Felipe Unity Poem Fiesta

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — The Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute presents U.S. poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera reading from his featured bilingual works, including “Notes of the Assemblage,” at Seton Hall University on Monday, April 11, at 6 p.m. in Jubilee Auditorium.

The son of migrant farm workers, Herrera was appointed the nation’s first Mexican-American poet laureate in 2015, also serving as California’s poet laureate from 2012 to 2014. A performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth, he writes passionately about social issues. His influences include Allen Ginsberg and Luis Valdez and his own immersion in the Chicano civil rights movement.

Herrera’s work crosses creative genres, including opera and dance theater, such as “187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Borders,” which chronicles his involvement with spoken word and street movement performance troupes across the country.

“As a Latina I feel very proud that the outstanding and prolific work of this humble Chicano has been recognized by the Library of Congress, making him the first Latino to receive this distinction. I can’t wait to listen to his poetry both in English and in Spanish,” Denisse Oller, executive director of the Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute, said in a release, inviting the community to this free event.

This event is being presented in collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Lecture Series, Poetry-in-the-Round, the Department of English, Latin American and Latino/Latina Studies, and the School of Diplomacy and International Relations. Following the reading and discussion, there will be a book-signing with the author. Seton Hall University is located at 400 South Orange Ave. in South Orange.