Lincoln Presidential Library welcomes Juan Felipe Herrera for public reading on Oct. 6

SPRINGFIELD – The nation’s new poet laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, will bring his unique voice on American identity to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum for a free public reading on Oct. 6.

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Herrera grew up traveling from field to field with his parents, who were migrant farm workers in California. His poems reflects that childhood. He writes in both Spanish and English, sometimes in the same poem. He includes imagery from the landscapes his family traveled, and addresses the struggles of immigrants, the poor, the overlooked.

Herrera will sign copies of his books at 6 p.m. in the presidential museum’s plaza and perform some of his many poems at 6:30 in the Union Theater.

The event is free, but reservations are required. Visit and click on “special event reservations.”

Herrera’s appearance at the Lincoln Presidential Museum is co-sponsored by the Poetry Foundation.

“We are honored to work with the Poetry Foundation to bring Juan Felipe Herrera to the ALPLM.  He is a powerful force that captivates all – his poetry grasps every human emotion, making all of us poetry lovers forever,” said Eileen Mackevich, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

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The nation’s poet laureate is chosen by the Library of Congress for a one-year term.

The New York Times has praised Herrera for creating “a new hybrid art, part oral, part written, part English, part something else.” And the Washington Post calls him “a singular voice and an agile mind that shifts easily from one topic and style to another.”

Herrera is the author of thirty books, including poetry, prose, short stories, young adult novels and picture books for children. His most recent poetry collection is “Notes of the Assemblage.” Other collections include “Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems,” a recipient of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; “187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross The Border: Undocuments 1971-2007”; and “Crashboomlove: A Novel in Verse,” which received the Americas Award.

In 2014, he released the nonfiction work “Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes,” which showcases 20 Hispanic people who have made outstanding contributions to the arts, politics, science, humanitarianism and athletics.

Visit Herrera’s website at

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum – now celebrating its 10th anniversary – is home to an unparalleled collection of Lincoln documents, photographs, artifacts and art. The museum combines scholarship with showmanship to immerse visitors in Lincoln’s life and times. For details, visit

About the Poetry Foundation

The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, is an independent literary organization committed to a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. It exists to discover and celebrate the best poetry and to place it before the largest possible audience. The Poetry Foundation seeks to be a leader in shaping a receptive climate for poetry by developing new audiences, creating new avenues for delivery and encouraging new kinds of poetry through innovative literary prizes and programs. For more information, please visit

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