published on February 23, 2016 - 8:52 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
The Los Angeles Times has named U.S. Poet Laureate and Central Valley native Juan Felipe Herrera the 2015 winner of the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement.

The honor is part of the Los Angeles Times annual Book Prizes event and Herrera will be presented with the award on April 9, during the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at the University of Southern California. 

“We are delighted to honor Juan Felipe Herrera’s remarkable 45-year career as a writer, teacher and activist,” said Kenneth Turan, film critic for the Times and director of the Book Prizes. “His literary contributions include poetry, prose, young adult novels and children’s literature, and his work in all artistic forms highlights a life dedicated to giving voice to those who are not always heard.”

Born in Fowler, Herrera was named California Poet Laureate in 2012, and U.S. Poet Laureate in 2015. He studied at UCLA and Stanford University and has a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. 

He has taught at Fresno State and UC Riverside and has two Latino Hall of Fame Poetry Awards. 

Other notable honorees from this year’s Book Prizes include novelist James Patterson, who was named the winner of the Innovator’s Award for his work to make books and reading a national priority.

The Book Prizes recognize 50 remarkable works in 10 different categories each year including biography, current interest, fiction, history, graphic novels/comics and poetry. The complete list of this year’s finalists is available at the

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