Full program video: Tim Z. Hernandez, Marguerite Muñoz, and René Juarez-Vazquez: May 9, 2019
Video highlight clips: Marguerite Muñoz reads "Fresno Lindo y Querido" | René Juarez-Vazquez prefaces then reads from his unpublished story, "Textbook Spanish for Traveling Abroad" | Tim Z. Hernandez reads his poem "My Name is Hernandez," after Martín Espada's "My Name is Espada" | Tim Z. Hernandez tells a story involving a Mexican farmworker in the 1940s Bracero program, Luis Miranda Cuevas, and reads from the chapter "Ilusiones" from his documentary novel All They Will Call You
"In his lyrics to 'Plane Wreck at Los Gatos' [Deportee], my father, Woody Guthrie, asked a simple question, 'Who are these friends?' and finally someone has answered that question.... All They Will Call You is a heart-wrenching read for anyone who cares...." —Arlo Guthrie
For the concluding program in The Poetry Center's In Common Writers Series for Spring 2019, we are very pleased to present poet and novelist Tim Z. Hernandez, visiting from El Paso, Texas, to read from his newest book, the documenary novel All They Will Call You, and present his research in relation to the Mexican workers who were killed as they were being deported by the U.S. government in the January 1948 "plane wreck at Los Gatos, memorialized in Woody Guthrie's song. Following an early afternoon reading at The Poetry Center, where Hernandez was joined after reading by poets Marguerite Muñoz and René Juarez-Valdez in conversation, we move to the Mission the same evening for a reading featuring all three writers, presented in conjunction with Voz Sin Tinta (to be followed by the Voz Sin Tinta open mic). Supported by the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, both events are free and open to the public.
Tim Z. Hernandez is an award-winning writer and performer. His work includes poetry, fiction and non-fiction, and he is the recipient of numerous awards, most notably the American Book Award, the Colorado Book Award, and the International Latino Book Award. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, C-Span, and NPR’s All Things Considered. Public Radio International hailed his book, Mañana Means Heaven, as one of their top picks of the year in 2013. The book is based on the real life story of Bea Franco, “Terry, The Mexican Girl” in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. In 2011, Hernandez was named one of sixteen New American Poets by the Poetry Society of America, and he was a finalist for the inaugural Split This Rock Freedom Plow Award for his research and work on locating the victims of the 1948 plane wreck at Los Gatos Canyon, the incident made famous by Woody Guthrie’s song of the same name. The result of this work is the basis for his latest book, All They Will Call You, the first installment of a trilogy he continues to write and research. Hernandez holds a B.A. from Naropa University and an M.F.A. from Bennington College. He is a full time Assistant Professor with the University of Texas El Paso’s Bilingual M.F.A. in Creative Writing Online.
Marguerite Muñoz writes “on the border of Berkeley & Oakland.” For the past four years and under the sponsorship of Alley Cat Books and former San Francisco Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguia, she has co-curated Voz Sin Tinta, a monthly bilingual showcase and open mic that provides a safe, supportive space for emerging writers and community voices that often go unheard. Marguerite’s work speaks to interconnectedness sensed through spirit, blurred boundaries between inner and outer worlds, and the nameless desires she holds as a woman surviving in today’s modern world. Her poems and creative non-fiction have been featured at Get Lit, Liminal, Poems Under the Dome, Jingletown Reading and Open Mic, City Limits Gallery, and the Cante Jondo Series, and she is honored to have poems published in The Haight Asbury Journal and Cipactli.
René Juarez-Vazquez is a Bay Area Native, writer, and educator. He is a professor of Latina/Latino Studies at San Francisco State University and holds degrees in English and Creative Writing. With Marguerite Muñoz, he co-curates Voz Sin Tinta, a multilingual reading series in the San Francisco Mission District. His book, The Planet of The Dead, is available from Nomadic Press. Follow him on Twitter @FKA_RENE
In Common Writers Series
Tim Z. Hernandez
reading and in conversation with Marguerite Muñoz and René Juarez-Vazquez
Thursday MAY 9
1:00 pm @ The Poetry Center
Humanities 512, SF State, free and open to the public
supported by the Walter & Elise Haas Fund
In Common Writers Series Thanks to a generous grant from the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, The Poetry Center will present six double-programs (twelve events in all) during 2018–19, featuring a series of remarkable writers from across the US, paired in conversation and performance with, for the most, local area writers with whom they share strong affinities. Each featured guest writer appears at The Poetry Center—we're doing outreach in particular to students and faculty in SF State's College of Ethnic Studies—reading and in conversation with their paired guest writer and the audience. Then, moving off-campus, both writers read their work at one of the Bay Area's local bookstores. We want to recognize our bookstores as crucial cultural centers and, paradoxically maybe, among the most long-lived and durable cultural sites in this violently gentrified region. Details on our six 2018-19 programs and featured artists here.