Juan Felipe Herrera was the 21st United States Poet Laureate, the first Mexican American to hold the position. Influenced by Allen Ginsberg, Luis Valdez and his own immersion into the Chicano civil rights movement, Herrera writes passionately about social issues. Herrera formerly served as California’s Poet Laureate. He has received fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, the University of California at Berkeley, the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference, the Stanford Chicano Fellows Program and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Herrera is the author of 30 books, including collections of poetry, prose, short stories, young adult novels and picture books for children. His book, “Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems” (University of Arizona Press), was a recipient of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. A teacher and troubadour for humanity, Herrera assists all communities in writing and creative expression. His newest book is “Every Day We Get More Illegal” (City Lights).