“Walking Together (again)”

California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera poem honors Isla Vista victims

Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera, California Poet Laureate

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, a professor of creative writing at UC Riverside, has written a poem to honor the victims of the May 23 rampage in Isla Vista. University of California President Janet Napolitano read the poem at Tuesday’s memorial service at UC Santa Barbara, where all six students who died were enrolled. Thirteen others were wounded.

In the last two years Herrera and many of his students at UCR have sent poems of sympathy and solidarity to communities as varied as Newton, Conn., after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School; to Boston after the bombing at the Boston Marathon; and to the Philippines after a super-typhoon decimated the island of Leyte.

“In a time of crisis, poetry from people’s hearts finds a way to calm the storm,” Herrera says.

Walking Together (again)

For the innocent ones, killed and injured, May 23rd, 2014. Isla Vista, Santa Barbara, Ca.

May you                           continue

in        our hearts



tell many stories                      your  short

life       which is                                   o u r

life &                           undulates     in sky



now an infinite meditation

we will touch

your shoulders as we once did & it      will

be     different    we will comfort each         other

& walk

together a g a i n (with you)

— Juan Felipe Herrera
Poet Laureate of California
May 27, 2014

(Read by President Janet Napolitano at the UCSB Memorial, May 27, 2014)

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-7847
E-mail: bettye.miller@ucr.edu
Twitter: bettyemiller

Additional Contacts

Juan Felipe Herrera
E-mail: juan.herrera@ucr.edu

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