The Poetry Society of America announced that Juan Felipe Herrera is the 2023 recipient of the Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry. Named for Robert Frost, and first given in 1930, the Frost Medal is one of the oldest and most prestigious awards in American poetry.
Herrera served as poet laureate from 2015 to 2017.
Herrera says, “With the poem, I can design a little corner for my families that have passed to live on, and for those brutalized by society to continue and be honored—to generate kindness.” Drawing on disparate sources, from European Modernism to Mesoamerican traditions to popular culture, Herrera creates a poetic voice that is both deeply embedded and wholly original. “Poetry,” he writes, “has gills and spears, spells and corn offerings, saxophones, tambourines and dinner tables—the sky liquid of a Jimi Hendrix guitar.”
The Frost Medal is one of many awards given to Herrera. For example, his poetry collection Half the World in Light: New and Selected Poems, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry and the PEN/Beyond Margins Award.
Congratulations Juan Felipe!