Juan Felipe Herrera wins Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize

Juan Felipe Herrera in front of an orange patterned wall in the Laureate Lab Visual Wordist Studio.

U.S. Poet Laureate Emeritus Juan Felipe Herrera, a professor emeritus of Chicano and Latin American studies at Fresno State, won a Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize in recognition of outstanding lifetime achievement in poetry. The prize, which includes a $100,000 award from the nonprofit Poetry Foundation, is one of the most prestigious awards given to American poets.

Herrera is the author of more than 30 books, including the new and expanded edition of his groundbreaking 1989 bilingual book “Akrílica,” published in 2022 by Noemi Press, and the poetry collection “Every Day We Get More Illegal,” published in 2020 by City Lights Books. Herrera coordinates the Laureate Lab Visual Wordist Studio inside Fresno State’s library, and he recently had an elementary school named after him in southeast Fresno.

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