Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday appointed Lee Herrick, a Fresno-based author and professor, to be the state’s poet laureate, citing a physique of labor that “explores the diversity and vitality of the California experience and the exhilarating success of the American experiment.”
Herrick, 52, was born in Daejeon, South Korea, and adopted when he was 10 months previous by dad and mom from Northern California. Previously Fresno’s poet laureate, he teaches at Fresno Metropolis Faculty and within the MFA program on the College of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe. He has a spouse and daughter and lives in Fresno.
Herrick is the writer of three poetry collections — “Scar and Flower,” “Gardening Secrets of the Dead” and “This Many Miles From Desire” — and has revealed verse in quite a few literary magazines, anthologies and textbooks.
“As a teacher, poet, and father, Lee writes movingly about his identity as a Californian and encourages others to reflect on what the state means to them,” Newsom mentioned in a press release. “Lee’s dedication to highlighting the diverse experiences of Californians, and making them so accessible through his poetry, makes him a perfect candidate for Poet Laureate. I look forward to his work to inspire communities and individuals across the state through the power of the written word.”
The state’s earlier poet laureate was Dana Gioia, a former chairman of Nationwide Endowment for the Arts, who stuffed the position from 2015 to 2018. The place had been vacant since Gioia’s departure.
“I am deeply honored, humbled, and excited to be named California Poet Laureate,” Herrick mentioned in a press release.
Herrick spoke to The Instances in 2021 about being an Asian adoptee raised by white dad and mom. He started to find his Korean id when he was in faculty after rising up in Danville, Calif. Having been the one scholar of coloration at his elementary college, he mentioned books had been his major entry to details about the tradition he’d been born into.
Asian adoptees “begin to believe that they are almost if not totally white,” he mentioned. “That’s a danger for everybody involved. There are some who deny their identities well into their 50s.”
Herrick’s new position will see him advocating for the artwork of poetry in school rooms and boardrooms alike. He’ll serve a two-year time period, as soon as confirmed by the state Senate, and can obtain a stipend from the California Arts Council.