“Poetry is a call to action, and it also is action,” said U.S. Poet Laureate Emeritus Juan Felipe Herrera, who will grace SUNY Oswego's Living Writers Series at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27.

In recognition of National Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month, Herrera will engage the campus community and public with a virtual reading and conversation via Zoom that is open and free of charge. 

Born to farmworkers in 1948, Herrera is a poet, educator and activist. A graduate of UCLA, Stanford University and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he served as poet laureate of the United States from 2015 to 2017 and poet laureate of California from 2012 to 2015.

He has written more than 30 books in multiple genres — and earned the National Book Critics Circle Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Los Angeles Times Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement, the Latino Hall of Fame Award, a Pushcart Prize, a UCR/LARB Lifetime Achievement Award, a Fred Cody Lifetime Achievement Award and the UCLA Chancellor’s Medal.

“Yet he is one of the warmest, most down-to-earth people,” observed Soma Mei Sheng Frazier, the creative writing professor who collaborated with the Oswego Reading Initiative, the History Department and ARTSwego to organize the series.

“This fall’s hybrid Living Writers Series format enables folks from our regional community to celebrate—with a virtual audience stretching from coast to coast—the contributions and influence of these incredible artists,” Frazier observed. “However, we also have in-person events coming up, such as our on-campus talk with Ta-Nehisi Coates in Waterman Theatre.”

For more information on the series, visit the SUNY Oswego events calendar and search for "Living Writers Series."