When Juan Felipe Herrera came to NPR's Washington studio, the poet laureate carried a sketch pad of drawings and scribbles of poems in the works. Herrera is the child of Mexican migrant farmworkers. He grew up following the seasons as his parents picked crops in the heat and dust of California's fields.

Chris Eudaily / TPR News

Part of the Texas poet laureate’s job is to introduce the power of poetry to every corner of the state. And that’s a charge that current Texas Poet Laureate Carmen Tafolla takes very seriously.

Tafolla is launching a project called Planting Poet Trees – sowing seeds of inspiration in Texas Public Schools. She’s looking for schools that are dealing with shrinking budgets and underfunded libraries that she can engage with to participate in writing projects and poetry workshops.

Juan Felipe Herrera Named U.S. Poet Laureate

Jun 9, 2015

Poetry readers, prepare yourselves for a passing of the laurels. The Library of Congress announced in the wee hours Wednesday that the next U.S. poet laureate will be California writer Juan Felipe Herrera. He will be the first Latino poet to be appointed to the position.

"This is a mega-honor for me," Herrera said in the announcement, "for my family and my parents who came up north before and after the Mexican Revolution of 1910 — the honor is bigger than me."

Octavio Quintanilla

Laurie Ann Guerrero was named the city of San Antonio Poet Laureate in the spring of 2014.