FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Governor Gavin Newsom has appointed Fresno’s Lee Herrick to serve as California’s 10th Poet Laureate.

“Lee’s dedication to highlighting the diverse experiences of Californians, and making them so accessible through his poetry, makes him a perfect candidate,” said Governor Newsom.

The function of a California Poet Laureate involves advocacy for poetry in classrooms and boardrooms across the state to inspire the emerging generation of literary artists. They educate Californians about the influence and value of numerous authors and poets by holding public readings across California.

One of their main goals through the course of their two-year term is to bring poetry to students who have little opportunity to access it.

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“Lee’s poetry invites us to reflect on our love of California and reminds us of the values we hold so dear — our inclusivity, empathy, and creativity,” said First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom.

Herrick served as Fresno’s Poet Laureate from 2015 to 2017 where he was able to bridge communities while engaging young people to express themselves through poetry.

52-year-old Lee Herrick is also a professor at Fresno City College and a former Fresno Poet Laureate.