Herrera Attends Poetry Event/Bishop’s Home Purchase – Poetry News Roundup November 14th

Today in our poetry news roundup we look at a poetry event attended by Juan Felipe Herrera. We also have an article about the purchase of the former home of the poet Elizabeth Bishop.

Prominent Chicano Poet Recites to Students

On 6th November, the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at San Diego State hosted an evening of poetry. Juan Felipe Herrera read some of his works to the students as part of the 50th-anniversary celebrations being held by the department which focused on San Diego’s Chicano artists.

Herrera began the event by reading from his work “187 Reasons Why Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border” in front of a packed auditorium. He requested that every time he pointed towards his audience they yelled “Because” at him. This went on for five minutes as he listed reasons that prevented Mexicans from crossing the border.

He went on to read a number of his other poems. These readings were interspersed with details of the poet’s own life, stories which included details of both his time at San Diego High School and also his time as the first Chicano Poet Laureate of the US, which took place from 2015 to 2017.

Herrera also took the opportunity to preview his upcoming anthology and read one of the poems which talks about the Hispanic children who are, at present, living in the border camps of the country.

There was also a short question and answers session which followed the reading. This was followed by an impromptu signing session of the poet’s books.

Herrera had some advice for those in his audience who had aspirations to one day be writers and that was that they should continue with their writing, making use of anything and everything around them for inspiration. He believes that for the ambitious Chicano poet, the future is bright and that there will be a second Chicano Poet Laureate in the US soon.

Elizabeth Bishop’s Home Purchased by Literary Nonprofit

The Key West home where the poet Elizabeth Bishop lived for almost 10 years has been purchased by a literary non-profit seminar who plan to use it as their headquarters. The seminar who has long championed the work of the poet has paid $1.2 million to purchase the first of her three houses.

Bishop lived in the house in Key West from 1938 until she sold it in 1946, at which time it became a registered national literary landmark.

Elizabeth Bishop is one of the many American literary figures who was associated with the area. Both Tennessee Williams the playwright and Ernest Hemingway the novelist lived here

Born in 1911 in Worcester, Massachusetts Bishop was not only heavily influenced by the surroundings of Key West but also the house which remains now very much as it was when she lived there. There have been no significant renovations carried out on the property.

Before turning the house into their headquarters, the Key West Literary Seminar plan to restore the home with the assistance of much of the poet’s correspondence which describes the interiors in minute detail, from the colours of the shutters to the type and number of trees in the yard.



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