Tim Z. Hernandez is an award-winning author and performance artist. His debut collection of poetry, Skin Tax (Heyday Books, 2004) received the 2006 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, the James Duval Phelan Award from the San Francisco Foundation, and the Zora Neal Hurston Award for writers of color dedicated to their communities. His debut novel, Breathing, In Dust (Texas Tech University Press 2010) was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, and went on to receive the 2010 Premio Aztlan Prize in Fiction from the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and was a finalist for the 2010 California Book Award. Most recently, in 2011 the Poetry Society of America named him one of sixteen New American Poets.
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. His second collection of poetry, Natural Takeover of Small Things is slated for release in Spring of 2013, and his novel of historical fiction, Mañana Means Heaven, which is based on the life of Bea Franco will be released in Fall of 2013, both books with University of Arizona Press.