Three Laureates: Poets of the New California

Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 7:00pm

Bovard Auditorium (ADM)
3551 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089

Book signing to follow.

Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP beginning Wednesday, August 30, at 9 a.m.

USC Students, Staff, and Faculty: RSVP
USC Alumni: RSVP
General Public: RSVP

U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia, and Los Angeles Poet Laureate Robin Coste Lewis come together on the Bovard stage for a reading and discussion about poetry and the role of place—in particular, the many places of California—in their creative work. The son of farmworkers, Herrera spent his early years living from crop to crop in California’s San Joaquin and Salinas valleys, went to high school in San Diego, attended college at UCLA during the Chicano movement, and now lives in Fresno, California. Dana Gioia grew up in Hawthorne, California, and spent his college years at Stanford. And National Book Award winner Robin Coste Lewis is from Compton. In a rare joint event moderated by author Kate Gale, these three highly decorated and deeply rooted California poets will reflect upon how poetry and the written word contribute to our shared yet varied sense of place and community.

About the Artists:

Juan Felipe Herrera
is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States and the first Latino to hold the position. His many books of poetry include Notes on the Assemblage; Half of the World in Light; and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border: Undocuments 1971–2007. Herrera is also an author of children’s books, a performance artist, and an activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth. (Twitter)

Dana Gioia is the Poet Laureate of California and the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at USC. A former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Gioia has published numerous collections of poetry, including Interrogations at Noon and, most recently, 99 Poems: New and Selected. Also an influential critic, Gioia was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for his 1991 book Can Poetry Matter?, which helped to revive the role of poetry in American public culture. (Twitter, USC profile)

Robin Coste Lewis is the Poet Laureate of Los Angeles and the author of the National Book Award–winning poetry collection Voyage of the Sable Venus. She was born in Compton, California, and received an MFA from New York University and an MTS from the Divinity School at Harvard University. (Facebook, Twitter)

Kate Gale is managing editor of Red Hen Press, editor of the Los Angeles Review, and president of the American Composers Forum, LA. She is author of five books of poetry, including Mating Season, from Tupelo Press; and a novel, Lake of Fire. Her current projects include a co-written libretto, Paradises Lost with Ursula K. LeGuin and composer Stephen Taylor, and a libretto adapted from Kindred by Octavia Butler with composer Billy Childs. (Twitter)

Related Event:
Poetry Workshop with Juan Felipe Herrera

Thursday, September 28, 2017, at 3 p.m.
The Academy for Polymathic Study, Doheny Memorial Library 241
For more info, click here.

Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Organized by the USC Libraries. Co-sponsored by El Centro Chicano and the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs, and the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles.

Photo (Dana Gioia): Lynn Goldsmith
Photo (Juan Felipe Herrera): Carlos Puma
Photo (Robin Coste Lewis): Dunya Alwan

Event Type

Arts, Lecture / Talk / Workshop, Student Life


Students, Alumni, Faculty/Staff


University Park Campus





Admission is free. Reservations required.

Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative


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