Since we have an open-air environment, a magnificent art gallery and nature to inspire us (as always), I thought we could enjoy a set of Garden Experiments with our writing. This may include the practice of using “flowing” lines, images and stanzas, as well as “blurring” contexts, themes, notes, fragments, splashes and conversations in the poem — and thick “landscapes.” Think of Pissarro and Cézzanne, Van Gogh — and much later, Jackson Pollock and Cy Twombly. We will enjoy the poem and it’s misty and tactile qualities. Much feedback, quick writing, and reading the work, and much sharing.
Juan Felipe Herrera is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United State (2015-2016) and is the first Latino to hold the position. From 2012–2014, Herrera served as California State Poet Laureate. Herrera’s many collections of poetry include Notes on the Assemblage; Senegal Taxi; Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems, a recipient of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross The Border: Undocuments 1971-2007. He is also the author of Crashboomlove: A Novel in Verse, which received the Americas Award. His books of prose for children include SkateFate; Calling The Doves, winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award; Upside Down Boy, which was adapted into a musical for young audiences in New York City; and Cinnamon Girl: Letters Found Inside a Cereal Box. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth.