Juan Felipe Herrera is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States (2015-2016) and is the first Latino to hold the position. He was appointed to a second term in 2016. As of this posting, no new poet laureate has been chosen.
Odd to be a half-Mexican, let me put it this way
I am Mexican + Mexican, then there’s the question of the half
To say Mexican without the half, well it means another thing
One could say only Mexican
Then think of pyramids – obsidian flaw, flame etchings, goddesses with
Flayed visages claw feet & skulls as belts – these are not Mexican
They are existences, that is to say
Slavery, sinew, hearts shredded sacrifices for the continuum
Quarks & galaxies, the cosmic milk that flows into trees
What is the other – yes
It is Mexican too, yet it is formless, it is speckled with particles
European pieces? To say colony or power is incorrect
Better to think of Kant in his tiny room
Shuffling in his black socks seeking out the notion of time
Or Einstein re-working the erroneous equation
Concerning the way light bends – all this has to do with
The half, the half-thing when you are a half-being
How they stalk you & how you beseech them
All this becomes your life-long project, that is
You are Mexican. One half Mexican the other half
Mexican, then the half against itself.
Write a collective poem with Mr. Herrera (via the Library of Congress' poetry site)
O, Miami is a biennial poetry festival in Miami, FL. Produced by the University of Wynwood with principal support provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, O, Miami creates a series of events and projects with the simple goal of every person in Miami-Dade County finding a poem during the month of April. Mixing traditional readings with innovative poetry-in-public-places projects, the festival weaves poetry into the fabric of the city’s existing infrastructure and cultural life.