CSULA Department of English | Events

Writer Juan Felipe Herrera in Residence at CSULA May 1-2

Juan Felipe Herrera will be in residence at Cal State
LA at the beginning of May. Herrera's visit is made
possible by the Virginia E. Smith Endowment for Poetry and

On Sunday, May 1, Herrera will be participating in the
Reel Rasquache Festival. On Monday, May 2, he will
conduct special presentations and workshops for students
from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and
Cal State LA. For further information, see the more
detailed schedule to the left.

serving as chair of the Chicano and Latin American Studies
Department at CSU-Fresno, this year Juan Felipe Herrera
joined the Creative Writing Department at UC Riverside, as
Tomás Rivera Endowed chair. He was a teaching fellow with
the distinction of Excellence at the University of Iowa,

Image of Juan Felipe Herrera


Writers Workshop in 1990. Also, he has taught at the New
College of San Francisco and Stanford University. 
During the last three decades Professor Herrera has
received numerous awards and fellowships such as two
National Endowment for the Arts Writers’ Fellowships,
four California Arts Council grants, the UC Berkeley
Regent’s Fellowship, the Breadloaf Fellowship in Poetry
and the Stanford Chicano Fellows Fellowship. He has given
lectures, workshops, readings and performances of his work
and writing throughout the nation. Mr. Herrera’s
publications include fourteen collections of poetry,
prose, short stories, young adult novels and picture books
for children in the last decade with twenty-one books in
total. For his literary endeavors, Mr. Herrera has
garnered the Ezra Jack Keats Award, the Hungry Mind Award
of Distinction, the Americas Award, the Focal Award, the
Pura Belpré Honors Award, the Smithsonian Children’s
Book of the year, the Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Choice, the IRA Teacher’s Choice, the LA Times Book
Award Nomination, the Texas Blue Bonnet Nomination, the
New York Public Library outstanding book for high school
students and two Latino Hall of Fame Poetry Awards. 

Felipe is also an actor with appearances on film and
stage. Recently produced “The Twin Tower Songs,” a San
Joaquin Valley performance memorial on the September 11th
tragedy and  writes
(poetry sequences) for the PBS television series
“American Family.” His recent musical, The Upside Down
Boy, was well received in New York City (9,000 K-6
attended), produced by Making Books Sing, libretto by
Barbara Zinn Krieger. Lyrics by Juan Felipe Herrera and
Music by Cristian Amigo. Mr. Herrera is a board member of
the Before Columbus American Book Awards Foundation and
the California Council for the Humanities.

Juan Felipe Herrera's visit to CSULA is made possible
through the Virginia E. Smith Fund for Poetry and Poetics. 

Juan Felipe Herrera at CSULA

Sunday, May 1, 4:30pm
Luckman Intimate Theatre. Herrera will be presenting the Driver's Licenz
project  as part of the Reel
Festival, a celebration of Latino film, art and poetry. This event is free of
charge and open to the public.

Monday, May 2,

Fine Arts Gallery. A special presentation for students
from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA)
and Cal State LA:

SupraNormal Creative Tectonics:

- find extra-ordinary planes of insight on ordinary
w/extra-ordinary physical combustion

- isometric and plastic movement for explosive writing
on the real ordinary world.

Monday, May 2, 6:10-10:00pm
Arts Gallery. A workshop for CSULA students:


- writing with pure 100% language syrup (change the
isotope of perception first)

received his B.A. in Social Anthropology from the
University of California at Los Angeles, his Masters in
Social Anthropology from Stanford and his Masters in Fine
Arts, in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa. Mr.
Herrera often travels and performs with his partner,
Margarita Luna Robles, a poet and performance artist.

Theatre: Juan Felipe has founded a number of performance ensemble
during the last three decades: Teatro Tolteca
(UCLA, 1971 – a choreopoem theatre utilizing jazz,
spoken-word and movement), TROKA ( Bay Area, 1983,
a percussion/spoken word ensemble, Teatro Zapata,
(Fresno, Ca., 1990 – 
a student community theatre), Manikrudo: Raw
( Fresno, Ca., 1993, a culturally diverse,
performance art ensemble and workshop) and 
Teatro Ambulante de Salud/The Traveling
Health Theatre (2003, Fresno, Ca. for migrant communities
in the San Joaquin Valley). “Prison Journal,” an
experimental play was featured at the Univ. of Iowa
Playwright’s Festival, 1990. Latin@ Theatre/Movement
& Improv training: Luis Valdez/Teatro Campesino,
Enrique Buenaventura, Rodrigo Duarte-Clark, Olivia
Chumacero, Jorge Huerta, James Donlon.

Poetry, Spoken-Word, Verbal Art: For the last thirty-five years,
Juan Felipe has been writing, publishing, reading,
performing, leading workshops, organizing literary
broadsides, journals and publications in home communities
and universities in California and the Pacific Northwest.
Nineteen books published. Has over one-hundred articles,
poems, reviews, essays in print.

Mural and Visual Art: Juan Felipe was instrumental in installing
early Chicano California murals in San Diego (1973, 74)
and organizing Chicano Latino Arts 
and literary Expos at UCLA (1973) and San Diego
(1974) and Stanford, 1979 and University of Iowa (1990).

Film and Video: Co-wrote script for award winning film Chicano
(Red Bird Films, 1990) and participated in Gary
Soto’s, The Bike and the Pool Party
(1992).  Various
video-art pieces such as “To Arrive,” and “British
Nights,” were featured at the University of Iowa’s
Multi-media Workshop, 1990.

Television: Recently wrote poetry for the PBS hit show, American
Family, -- Crashboomlove (2 episodes, 03) and Land of
Dreams (1 episode, 04). Producers: Gregory Nava and
Barbara Martinez-Jitner. Los Angeles.

Community Arts: Juan Felipe has received grants to teach poetry/art
and performance in settings such a community art galleries
such as the Galeria de la Raza in San Francisco, Ca., in
1983-84, develop community art and literature broadsides
(1977-78)  in
San Diego, Ca., teach poetry in prisons (Soledad
Correctional Facility, 1987-88).

New Books: 04

Notebooks of a Chile Verde Smuggler (Univ. Arizona Press)

Supercilantro Girl (Children’s Book Press)

Coralito’s Bay, Bahia de Coralito (Monterey National Marine

Featherless/Desplumado (Children’s Book Press) /

Forthcoming Books: 05

Cinnamon Girl (Harper Collins/Joanna Cotler Books, NY) Fall 05

Downtown Boy (Scholastic-Signature, NY), Fall ‘05

For more information, call the Cal State L.A. English Department at (323) 343-4140.

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