Juan Felipe Herrera

Wednesday, September 13

Craft Talk
3:00 pm–4:00 pm
First Congregational UCC | 150 Stadium Ct., Mankato

“An Evening with Juan Felipe Herrera and the Aktion Club Theatre Poets”
6:30 pm–7:30 pm
Elias J. Halling Recital Hall (located in the Jane Early Performing Arts Center)
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Thursday, September 14

10:00 am–11:00 am
Emy Frentz Gallery | 523 S 2nd St., Mankato

Reading with Alyssa Striplin
7:30 pm–8:30 pm
Room 253, Centennial Student Union
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Books will be available for purchase.


Juan Felipe Herrera is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States (2015-2016) and is the first Latino to hold the position. From 2012-2014, Herrera served as California State Poet Laureate. Herrera’s many collections of poetry include Notes on the Assemblage; Senegal Taxi; Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems, a recipient of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross The Border: Undocuments 1971-2007. He is also the author of Crashboomlove: A Novel in Verse, which received the Americas Award. His books of prose for children include: SkateFate, Calling The Doves, which won the Ezra Jack Keats Award; Upside Down Boy, which was adapted into a musical for young audiences in New York City; and Cinnamon Girl: Letters Found Inside a Cereal Box. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth.

Aktion Club Theatre of Mankato is a high-energy, upbeat theatre group for people of all ages and abilities that stages original plays and performances around issues of disability-accessibility, community inclusion and sharing a message of peace, love and acceptance. The group was formed in 2006 through a collaboration with the Mankato Downtown Kiwanis Club and the Arc of Minnesota Southwest. The plays and performances that the group has staged are original and highlight the gifts and talents of the actors. The plays are written and directed by Wilbur Neushwander-Frink and include Soph and the Nana, Love Sweet Love, The Other Side, From Silence to Voice and The Beautiful Community Cabaret Show. The group is currently working on a production about a circus, which will be staged in 2018. An Aktion Club Theatre Poet’s Club was created in collaboration with the Good Thunder Reading Series at Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2015. The members of the Poet’s Club create original poetry, which is then featured in plays and at public poetry readings. Students in Minnesota State Mankato’s MFA in Creative Writing Program facilitate the group. Through this collaboration, the Poet’s Club has produced two chapbooks: The Beautiful Community and Poems for the Playground.

Alyssa Striplin was born and raised in the Kansas City, Missouri suburbs. She is an MFA candidate at Minnesota State University, Mankato, the managing editor for the Blue Earth Review, and the recipient of the 2017-18 Nadine B. Andreas Graduate Assistantship.