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California's poet laureate likes to turn the tables

California's poet laureate likes to turn the tables

When the poet laureate of California is invited to receptions and his hosts ask if there's anything special he'd like to eat, Juan Felipe Herrera likes to give an irreverent answer: "How about some cilantro?" Cilantro, an herb used in making guacamole and other dishes with roots in Latin America, is an essential element of California cuisine, though many Californians have never heard of it. Until recently, Herrera was also unknown to many Californians. These days, however, the self-described "laureate cilantro" speaks in an official capacity for California's multitudes. "Today — we stroll & wade & walk in freedom," he began, in a...

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