As a child, Juan Felipe Herrera traveled through the many small farming towns of California before his parents finally settled in San Diego. He has founded bilingual theater groups, music and poetry troupes. Juan Felipe learned his love of word, language and writing at a young age from his mother. Poetry has been a part of his life ever since and he now writes poetry for both children and adults.
Juan Felipe”s books are often inspired by his past as the only son of a pair of migrant farm workers along with his belief that language, culture and good-hearted laughter are key ingredients of his work. Some of his titles include Calling the Doves, an Ezra Jack Keats Award winner, Crash Boom Love, winner of the Americas Award, and Featherless/Desplumado, winner of the 2005 Independent Publisher Book Award.
Juan Felipe”s newest book is Downtown Boy. The book tells the story of a Latino boy living in the 1950s as he travels from place to place constantly and longs to stay in one place. Although the story is about a Latino boy in a time different than today, readers of all backgrounds can easily relate to the young individual. Downtown Boy will be released in November 2005.
Juan Felipe Herrera is currently holds the Tomás Rivera endowed chair in creative writing at the University of California, Riverside. He lives in Fresno, California with his wife and two children.