Juan Felipe Herrera, center, dances on stage in the Coolidge Auditorium with Tylana Enomoto, left, and Martha González, right, members of the band Quetzal. Photo by Shawn Miller.
The Library hosted a day of festivities on April 26 to honor Juan Felipe Herrera as he concluded his second term as poet laureate consultant in poetry.
Titled “Speak the People/the Spark/el Poema,” the celebration began with a choral performance by the Fresno State Chamber Singers from Fresno, California, Herrera’s home town.
In the evening, a panel discussion took place about the emergence of Latino American culture and its influence on the nation. In addition to Herrera, the panelists were Martha González, lead vocalist for the Grammy Award-winning East L.A. rock bank Quetzal; Hugo Morales, the founder and executive director of Radio Bilingüe; and Louie Pérez, singer-songwriter with the band Los Lobos. Rafael Pérez-Torres, an English professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, moderated the discussion.
Immediately following the panel, a concert by Quetzal closed out the celebration.
A video recording of the celebration is available on the Library’s YouTube site.