Juan Felipe Herrrera is the 21st U.S. Poet Laureate, appointed for 2015-2016, the first Latino poet to receive this honor. The son of migrant farm workers, he was educated at UCLA and Stanford University, and received his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. His numerous poetry collections include 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can't Cross the Border: Undocuments 1971-2007, Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems (2008), and Border-Crosser with a Lamborghini Dream (1999). His latest poetry collection is Notes on the Assemblage (2015). In addition to publishing more than a dozen collections of poetry, Herrera has written short stories, young adult novels, and children's literature.
Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth. His creative work often crosses genres, including poetry, opera, and dance theater. His children’s book, The Upside Down Boy (2000), was adapted into a musical. His books for young people have won several awards, including Calling the Doves (2001), winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award, and CrashBoomLove (1999), a novel-in-verse for young adults, which won the Americas Award. His poetry collection Half of the World in Light was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle prize in 2009. Herrera lives in Fresno, CA.