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Fresno Poet Lee Herrick Writes Poems That “Call You Out” In New Book, “Scar And Flower”

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Laura Tsutsui
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Valley Public Radio
Lee Herrick's new book, "Scar and Flower" was released this month. In his third book, the Fresno poet wrote about new themes like gun violence and suicide.

The San Joaquin Valley is home to a number of renowned poets, past and present. Just yesterday, Juan Felipe Herrera, a former U.S. Poet Laureate, got a shoutout during Governor Gavin Newsom’s inauguration. Earlier this month, Fresno City College professor Lee Herrick came out with his own new book of poetry, "Scar and Flower." It's Herrick's first book since he finished his tenure as Fresno’s Poet Laureate from 2015 to 2017.

In this compilation of poems, Herrick writes about gun violence and suicide, and themes he's explored before, like adoption. When asked why he chose such complicated topics, Herrick said, "For me, the best poems are the ones that call you out whether you want to write them or not."

Listen to the interview above to hear more.

Laura Tsutsui was a reporter and producer for Valley Public Radio. She joined the station in 2017 as a news intern, and later worked as a production assistant and weekend host. Laura covered local issues ranging from politics to housing, and produced the weekly news program Valley Edition. She left the station in November 2020.
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