Yesterday a Child Laureate, Today a Grownup One

Little did I know yesterday, when I was writing about Chris Riddell become Children’s Laureate in the UK, that today I would be writing about the new US Poet Laureate.

It sounds like I’m either psychic or someone is just jumping on the bandwagon. And I don’t mean me. You don’t think that Waterstones (a UK bookseller) knew that the US poet laureate was being named and consequently named their children’s laureate first? No, I would not consider any kind of crass marketing from a global company.

My non-cynical thought, is why can’t we spread these out. Let’s have the Children’s Laureate one month. We can have some monthly posts of drawings or writing. A few activities around the country. And then, a couple of months later do the same for the US Poet Laureate? It was just take a little co-operation. Wait, the new US Poet Laureate does not take over until September?

Juan Felipe HerreraBut anyway, congratulations to Juan Felipe Herrera. A great deal is being made of Herrera’s Latino heritage and Herrera is committed to encouraging young Latino writers. He wants to close cultural gaps and also provide a poetic voice for everyone.

I had not had much experience of Herrera before the announcement. He was a vaguely familiar name. Now I am going to look forward to reading and listening to his poetry.

There is a value in poetry that is sometimes underrated or ignored. That is a shame. As a society, we seem to lean towards instant access, instant explanation. The whole point of poetry is contemplative, without single definition or answer. You cannot access it all in one go and so it has more to give than you can fit into 128 characters or one blog.

Love live poetry and let’s hear some from Herrera who will be poet laureate (in a couple of months).


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