Port of Los Angeles High School Crafts Schoolwide, Statewide Unity Poem

July 5, 2012

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Earlier this year, Juan Felipe Herrera was appointed California poet laureate by Gov. Jerry Brown. The award-winning, UC Riverside poetry instructor is California's first Hispanic poet laureate. In May, Herrera told the Los Angeles Times that he would like to make the entire state a democratic, virtual poetry workshop. He envisions a gigantic communal poem to be passed around the Internet over the next two years so writers at high schools, colleges and community centers can add their own lines. It's tentatively titled The Most Incredible and Biggest Poem in the World on Unity. Herrera describes it as a "nice, long poem, a multidimensional poem that talks about what we are all facing, from as many traditions and cultures and places."

Port of Los Angeles High School (POLAHS) English Instructor Pete Riehl, has teamed up with Herrera to help bring this poetic interpretation of unity to life. He worked with POLAHS administrators, teachers, and students to complete POLAHS' schoolwide poem. As the FIRST school or organization to participate, POLAHS will be recognized on websites, electronic billboards, and in literary journals throughout the state.

Check out the many voices of POLAHS in 2012.


The Port of Los Angeles High School (POLAHS) is an independent, college preparatory charter high school located in San Pedro. The 950 students currently enrolled in grades 9 through 12 attend our school tuition-free.

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