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Writer-professor Lee Herrick named California poet laureate

Lee Herrick, a writer and professor based in Fresno with many published works, has been named California's poet laureate by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Lee Herrick, a writer and professor based in Fresno with many published works, has been named California's poet laureate.

Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Herrick Friday, citing a body of work that "explores the diversity and vitality of the California experience."

Herrick, 52, was born in South Korea and adopted when he was 10 months old by parents from Northern California, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Formerly Fresno's poet laureate, he teaches at Fresno City College and in the MFA program at the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe. He has a wife and daughter and lives in Fresno.

"I am deeply honored, humbled, and excited to be named California Poet Laureate," Herrick said in a statement.

Herrick is the author of three poetry collections and has published verse in numerous literary magazines, anthologies and textbooks.

The state's previous poet laureate was Dana Gioia, a former chairman of National Endowment for the Arts, who filled the role from 2015 to 2018. The position had been vacant since Gioia's departure.

Once confirmed by the state Senate, Herrick will serve a two-year term advocating for the art of poetry.

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