Poet Laureate Herrera pays visit to GSHS | PostIndependent.com

Poet Laureate Herrera pays visit to GSHS

Will Grandbois
Fernanda Gonzalez, left, a student in Bryan Gonzales's bilingual class at Glenwood Springs High School, follows along as US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera tells a story involving sprinkling cinnamon onto an imaginary drink. Herrera paid a special visit Wednesday morning after a speaking engagement in Aspen Tuesday night.
Will Grandbois | Post Independent

If the purpose of the United States Poet Laureate is to spread the love of written and spoken word, Juan Felipe Herrera is the man for the job.

After kicking off Aspen Words Tuesday night, Herrera made the trip down to Glenwood Springs High School Wednesday to address Bryan Gonzales’ bilingual class.

The nation’s first Latino poet laureate was a hit from the moment he walked in the door, chatting with students and smiling broadly.

His alternately Spanish and English presentation poked fun at both languages, prompting no shortage of laughs. After all, he observed, American Spanish is unique just as is English.

Herrera also prompted the class to compose a short poem in 30 seconds, and invited several students to share their work.

“The creative self is born when we write,” he told them. “If you’ve felt something, then you can write about it. You can say something.”

Students from Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale also had the opportunity to attend Felipe Herrera’s talk in Aspen on Tuesday.

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