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Lee Herrick is the California Poet Laureate. He is the author of three books of poems: Scar and Flower, finalist for the 2020 Northern California Book Award; Gardening Secrets of the Dead, and This Many Miles from Desire. He is co-editor of The World I Leave You: Asian American Poets on Faith and Spirit (Orison Books 2020). His poems have appeared widely in literary magazines, anthologies, and textbooks including Columbia Poetry Review; The Normal School; The Poetry Foundation; Academy of American Poets; ZYZZYVA; Highway 99: A Literary Journey Through California’s Great Central Valley (2nd edition); The Place That Inhabits Us: Poems from the San Francisco Bay Watershed; Naming the Lost: The Fresno Poets—Interviews and Essays; One for the Money: The Sentence as Poetic Form; Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy; Indivisible: Poems of Social Justice with a foreword by Common; and HERE: Poems for the Planet with a foreword by the Dalai Lama, among others.
Herrick served as Fresno Poet Laureate from 2015-2017. He serves on the advisory board of Terrain.org and Sixteen Rivers Press. He has taught in Qingdao, China, and for Kundiman in New York City. In 2016, he co-founded LitHop in Fresno. He has traveled throughout Latin America and Asia and has given readings across the United States. He attended Modesto Junior College and received his BA in English and MA in English from CSU Stanislaus. He has taught at Fresno City College since 1997, serving as department chair twice, faculty advisor for many student clubs, and on many committees. He co-founded the Asian American Faculty and Staff Association as well as the USEAA (United Southeast Asian American) Academic Program in 1999.
He was born in Daejeon, South Korea and adopted at ten months old. He also teaches in the low-residency MFA program at the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe. He is the 10th California Poet Laureate and the first Asian American to serve in the role.