Luis Humberto Valadez is a poet/musician/performer from Chicago Heights, IL. His work is heavily influenced by artists including Akilah Oliver, Harryette Mullen, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, and Anne Waldman as well as the economically depressed Chicago south suburb he grew up in and his mother, who constantly implored him to “get out of the Heights.” These influences figure heavily into his first collection of poetry what i’m on, published by the University of Arizona Press. He went to school at Columbia College Chicago and the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. He has an album forthcoming with the band Valid Lush, teaches creative writing, and works for Chicago HOPES, an after-school tutoring and arts program for children living in Chicago homeless shelters.
Tim Z. Hernandez is a writer and performer originally from California’s San Joaquin Valley. His writing has been featured in numerous publications and his performances have taken place at venues across the U.S. such as the Getty Center, Stanford University, the Denver Center for Performing Arts, and at New York City’s Dixon Theater. He is the recipient of several notable awards including the 2006 American Book Award for his collection of poetry Skin Tax, the James Duval Phelan Award and the Zora Neale Hurston Award. Breathing, In Dust was recently hailed by book critic Alan Cheuse on NPR’s All Things Considered and by the San Francisco Chronicle as “…a novelist who knows how to use the rhythms and imagery of poetry to the best possible advantage.” Hernandez holds a B.A. in Writing & Literature from Naropa University, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College. He currently resides in Colorado with his family and works for the Colorado Humanities & Center for the Book. http://www.coloradopoetscenter.org/poets/hernandez_tim/index.html