Promo photo ColorTim Z. Hernandez is an award winning poet, novelist, and performance artist. His debut collection of poetry, Skin Tax (Heyday Books) received the 2006 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, and the James Duval Phelan Award from the San Francisco Foundation. His debut novel, Breathing, In Dust (Texas Tech University Press) was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, and went on to receive the 2010 Premio Aztlan Prize in Fiction. His second collection of poetry, Natural Takeover of Small Things was released in 2013 and received the 2014 Colorado Book Award, and his novel, Mañana Means Heaven, which is based on the life of Bea Franco, also released in 2013, went on the receive the 2014 International Latino Book Award in historical fiction. Both books are with the University of Arizona Press. His latest book, “All They Will Call You,” was released on January 28, 2017, also with the University of Arizona Press. A genre bending work labeled a Documentary Novel, it is based on the song by Woody Guthrie, “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (Deportee).”

Most recently, Hernandez was one of four finalists for the inaugural Freedom Plow Award from the Split This Rock Foundation for his work on locating the victims of the plane wreck at Los Gatos. As a performer he has collaborated with Grammy Award winning classical composer Eugene Freisen, and in 2001 was commissioned by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles to write and perform an original play on homelessness. Since 2007, he has worked with Poets & Writers Inc. and the California Center for the Book at UCLA teaching poetry, fiction, and non-fiction workshops across the west coast. From 2010-14 he was the state-wide coordinator for Colorado Writers-in-the-Schools with focus on rural, under-served communities. He is a frequent guest artist at Universities, cultural institutions, and literary centers across the United States and internationally.

Hernandez holds a B.A. in Writing & Literature from Naropa University and an M.F.A. from Bennington College in Vermont. He is currently a full-time Assistant Professor in the University of Texas El Paso’s Bilingual M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program.

19 responses to “Biography

  1. Tim–I had the local library order “All They Will Call You”. Great book! I was disappointed and a bit confused to see that they had classified it as a fiction book. Doesn’t seem that way to me!

    • Dan, thank you for your generous comments. Sometimes bookstores and libraries will take it upon themselves to shelf the book where they see fit, rather than follow the Library of Congress cataloguing data, where it is listed as “Creative Non-fiction.” Thank you again!

  2. Mr Hernandez, I can’t wait to read your book, I just heard about it today on cspan.
    I had heard the song deportee when I was in high school back in 70 ‘s and I never forgot the song or the opinions expressed in it. I’m so happy on the work you have done to honor these hard working people, who were ignored by almost everyone leaving a bearly visable trail for you to follow. I think in these times is the perfect time for your book. I’m sure it will show the true value that these humble people brought with them to this country. Anyway thank you again for the book, and more info on a story that’s been on and in my mind for decades. True book lover j.s.taylor

  3. Tim,
    LOVED “All They Will Call You”. Library ordered it for me (and their shelf). Enjoyed your research and reaching out to the victims’ families. The song has haunted me since I first heard Pete Seger perform it in the mid 70’s. Any plans on updating on your website as you encounter more families? Thanks again, for a great read!
    Michael Cuslidge
    Corvallis, MT

  4. Tim – Dan let me know when he was checking it in so I could get it before anyone else got it. I loved it! It was a moving experience to read it and sort of put a face on the names. I really admire and appreciate all that you did for the memory of those that died. I don’t think I had the opportuntiy to meet you but I used to be in a group with Dan and we played Plane Wreck at Los Gatos regularly. We often closed with it – always an emotional experience. Thanks again for your work in putting it all together!!

    Doug Coppock

  5. Hola Dan, Do you have an email list? Would love to know when you are reading again in the Bay Area. Thanks!

  6. I just reread “Manana Means Heaven” for the second time and found it just as compelling. However, THIS time I also pulled out Kerouac’s “On The Road” and read the pages he’d written about “Terry” the Mexican girl. I found his descriptions so shallow and coarse, compared to yours. I also found discrepancies in a few areas. It will always appear to me, that he dismissed her so freely and easily. I too have spent thousands of miles on the road and published my memoir in 2014, “Queen of the Road.” So I know the lure of the road. But Kerouac will be forever diminished in my view. Thanks again for your wonderful accounting and for finding Bea Franco.

  7. Hello Tim my 6th grade daughter is doing a history paper on the Braceros and on our research we came across the song and you. The song your book and the information really touched us. She can wait to read the book. Thank you !

  8. Tim, I have just finished reading your book _”All They Will Call You”. I was just taken aback by it. I had heard the song a while back and have since done reading and research on Woody Guthrie. Your book means so much to the memory of the people who died and their descendants. Thank you for writing it and I hope when I go to El Paso I can get my book autographed and share my story of how I became acquainted with this song with you.

    • Jesus, thank you. I’m glad the story resonated with you, and that the song holds special meaning in your life. Look me up anytime you’re in El Paso!

      • Tim, Last week John McCutcheon and I performed Deportee in Portland, OR. I told him some interesting facts that I had discovered about the newspaper coverage of the accident, but I haven’t been able to confirm it, and he suggested that I contact you. I can’t find your email address, and I don’t use social media. Please send me your email.

        Mike Sands

  9. I just read your book All They Will Call Me, the book was so emotional that I cried when I was reading it. I hope you find the other families so that they can have closure. Thank you for sharing the story of these hard working beautiful people. May God Bless themand God Bless you.

  10. Mr. Hernandez, I am a 1979 (B.A.) and 1986 (M.Ed.) UTEP graduate. I Just finished reading your book “All They Will Call You”. It was read in about 8 hours. Thank you for doing the research and writing this book to tell this migrant workers’ story and give names to the deceased. I have lived in Sacramento Ca for 28 years. I plan on visiting the grave site in Fresno and pay homage to them. I belong to El Coro de Sacramento within the Latino Arts and Culture Center. We practiced singing the Gutherie/Hoffman song for last week’s Cesar Chavez march. When researching the song I came across your book. I knew I had to read it. I was in El Paso visiting family about 3 weeks ago. On my next visit to El Paso I will definitely stop by your office on the Utep campus. Hopefully I may meet you and congratulate in person for such an outstanding piece of work! GRACIAS!

  11. I just finished reading your book “All They Will Call You” The book brought me to tears at times as I found myself feeling the same thoughts of the relatives and the stories of their loved ones. I had almost completed reading the book when the actual date of the crash hit me. Jan 28th has significance for me in several ways. My youngest sister, and my brother’s daughter were born on Jan 28th. I was stationed at Lowry AFB when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded after take off. Finally, it is the day my mother died. I could hardly believe I didn’t think about when I started reading the book.

    • Fred, thank you. Yes, this book and story are filled with more synchronicities than any person can fit into one book. January 28 seems to hold a lot of significance for a lot of people. I appreciate your support of my book and work. Thank you and happy new year!

  12. Hola Sr. Hernandez,

    I grew up near Coalinga (Cantua Creek), my grandfather and great uncle were braceros from Guanajuato too! but not involved in that crash. However, our family did climb to the “three rocks” a few times. and we often ate at Ole Frijole! My family (as am I) is also from Guanajuato (San Miguel de Allende). at the time of the show on Latino USA, your count was being able to reach 8 of the 40. Has that count changed?
    <ps. just downloaded the e-book from amazon 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s