San José Poetry Festival 2020 Keynote: An Evening with Juan Felipe Herrera & Friends with Arlene Biala and Janice Lobo Sapiago

As part of San José Poetry Festival 2020, Juan Felipe Herrera will be joined by fellow poets laureate Arlene Biala and Janice Lobo Sapigao in a special performance via Zoom.

This is Day Four of our six-day festival! Check out this list of all the events that are part of the sixth annual San José Poetry Festival or get a festival pass. Help support Poetry Center San José by becoming a member.

Juan Felipe Herrera is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States (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 Every Day We Get More Illegal; 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, which won 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. His book Jabberwalking, a children’s book focused on turning your wonder at the world around you into weird, wild, incandescent poetry, is forthcoming in 2018. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth.

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Arlene Biala (she/her) is a Pinay poet born in San Francisco and raised in the South Bay. She has been participating in poetry performances and workshops for over 30 years and was the 2016-2017 Santa Clara County Poet Laureate. She is the author of several collections of poetry: bone, continental drift and her beckoning hands, which won the 2015 American Book Award. Her latest book, one inch punch, was published in January 2019. She is ready for November. She is also ready for LitLumpiaFest4 as soon as the Universe gives us her blessing.

Janice Lobo Sapigao (she/her) is a daughter of immigrants from the Philippines. She is the author of two books of poetry: microchips for millions (Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc., 2016), and like a solid to a shadow (Timeless, Infinite Light, 2017 by way of Nightboat Books). She was named one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Women to Watch in 2017 by KQED Arts. She was a VONA/Voices Fellow and was awarded a Manuel G. Flores Prize, PAWA Scholarship to the Kundiman Poetry Retreat. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Skyline College, the 2020-2021 Santa Clara County Poet Laureate, and a Poet Laureate Fellow with the Academy of American Poets.