Spend a little time this week to savor some poetry from California’s poet laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera. Then, make sure you show up to the Poetry Center’s Grand Opening Friday, where Herrera himself will be reading from his poems, along with Jane Hirshfield, who holds many awards for her poetry.
Sierra Nevada College’s website describes his work: Herrera’s poetry brims with simultaneity and exuberance, and often takes shape in mural-like, rather than narrative, frames. His creative work often crosses genres, including poetry, opera and dance theater. The NY Times described Herrera as one of the first poets to successfully create “a new hybrid art, part oral, part written, part English, part something else: an art grounded in ethnic identity, fueled by collective pride, yet irreducibly individual too.”
The Poetry Center, located in Prim Library, holds one of the largest collections of contemporary poetry in Nevada and will be the center of a diverse program of readings and workshops. Funded through grants from the Nevada State Library and Archives and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the poetry center holds 500 volumes of poetry acquired by the grant, plus 3,000 more from donations. Like the library itself, the Poetry Center’s collections and programs are open to the general public and offer free access to all Nevada residents.
To celebrate its opening, Herrera and award-winning poet Jane Hirshfield will be reading from their work during the opening from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, March 28, in the library. To put you in the mood, we encourage you to peruse a few of their poems.