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Fresno poet laureate

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

On Thursday, Fresno State alumna Marisol Baca was named Fresno’s fourth poet laureate. She is the first woman to hold the title. Baca is an English instructor at Fresno City College, and the co-founder of the Women Writers of Color-Central Valley collective. Her debut book, “Tremor,” published last year, won the Three Mile Harbor Press First Book Prize.

 

Listen to the interview above to hear about Baca's plan to expand connections between Fresno's elementary school students and local poets during her two-year term.

On this week’s Valley Edition: Allegations of sexual abuse against a popular valley priest have led to a vocal outpouring of support for him that some argue prevents victims from speaking out. Later, we learn about a student art project that tells the stories of survivors of sex trafficking.

And we talk to the creators of a new graphic comic book that gives readers a picture of Fresno’s redlining history and how that plays out today. We also meet Fresno’s new Poet Laureate Marisol Baca.  

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above.

Laura Tsutsui / Valley Public Radio

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.