Juan Felipe HerreraWe just learned that former Council Board member and well-known poet Juan Felipe Herrera has just been awarded the 2008 Literary Award for poetry given by PEN USA, the West Coast center of the writers’ organization PEN International. He won the award for “187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border,” published by City Lights Books. The Los Angeles Times called Herrera’s book a “ferocious collection of the veteran Chicano poet and activist’s work from the past 30 years. “You eat lettuce we irrigate lettuce,” writes Herrera, who spent most of his childhood traveling the fields of California with his migrant worker parents. “You watch Oprah we watch Oprah.” Read the review. Learn about other Pen USA award winners.

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