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About Jose B. Gonzalez
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         reflections on Brown Nation

keynotes, speeches &

         poetry readings with energy

Biography & Speaker Information

Jose B. Gonzalez  is the author of the International Latino Book Award finalist, Toys Made of Rock and When Love Was Reels. He was born in San Salvador, El Salvador, and immigrated to New London, Connecticut at the age of eight. A 2012 Fulbright Scholar to Spain, he has been the recipient of such honors as the 2009 American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Outstanding Latino Faculty of the Year Award, Connecticut's Higher Education Multicultural Faculty of the Year Award and has been anthologized in The Norton Introduction to Literature, Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States and Theatre Under My Skin: Contemporary Salvadoran Poetry. He has  published poetry in such journals as Callaloo, The Teacher's Voice, Palabra, Acentos Review, Calabash and Colere, and anthologies including Coloring Book, Nantucket: A Collection, and Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature, which he also co-edited with John. S. Christie.  His work was most recently included in a special edition of OCHO featuring Latino poets. He was the recipient of the Poet of the Year Award presented by the New England Asociation of Teachers of English.  In addition, he has contributed critical and nonfiction essays to such journals as New England Quarterly and to National Public Radio. He has been featured in the nationally syndicated show, American Latino TV, as well as Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education.

Jose infuses his presentations with a mix of poetry, humor, and social commentary. He holds a Master’s in Teaching in English from Brown University and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Rhode Island.  He has presented at various conferences, schools and colleges such as Cornell University, Yale University, Harvard University, Wright State University, University of Connecticut, Eastern Connecticut State University, Connecticut College, Boston College, and he has been keynote speaker for a number of Hispanic Heritage Month events.
For information on scheduling him for a speaking engagement, e-mail: jgonzalez@latinostories.com

He is available for the following keynote lectures, presentations, and workshops (as well as for poetry readings):

*     From No-English to Professor of English: What Educators Should Know About a Former ESOL Student's Journey

*     Latino, Hispanic, Latin American: And What Difference Does It Make Anyway? (Ideal for Hispanic Heritage Month and other culture-themed functions)

*     Everything You Wanted to Know About Latino Literature (in 90 Minutes or Less)

*     And I Thought Aliens Didn't Eat Rice and Beans: The Evolution of the Word "Alien"

*     Poetry Readings and Customized Presentations on Latino Literature and Culture


Notable Readings or Presentations:

*     Featured Speaker, University of Florida, Hispanic Heritage Month

Keynote Speaker, Baker Botts International Law Firm

*    Keynote Speaker: CT Immigration Day Keynote Speaker

*    Featured ReaderRiverwood Poetry Series

Featured Reader, 
A Multilingual Reading in NYC

*      Featured PanelistConnecticut Book Festival

*      Keynote SpeakerCornell University--Latino Ivy League Conference

*      Keynote SpeakerDel Mar College, Corpus Christi, TX, Hispanic Heritage Month

*      Featured SpeakerHarvard University 2010 East Coast Chicano Student Forum Conference

*    Featured Speaker, Three Rivers Community College, CT

*    Featured Poet, Julia de Burgos Park Featured Poet

*    Keynote Speaker, Pittsburg State University, KS, Hispanic Heritage Month

*    Poetry Center in PCCC, Paterson, NJ

*    Panelist, Modern Language Association Convention, PA

     Featured Poet, Expressiones Cultural Center, New London, CT

*     Undocumented Hispanic Migration Conference, Connecticut College

*     Featured Poet, Julia De Burgos Anniversary Celebration

*     Featured Poet, Gemini Ink, San Antonio, TX

*     Honoree, American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Conference, TX

*     Poet, University of Connecticut Avery Point Poetry Brunch

*     Panelist,  College Board Educating Latinos Preparate Conference, FL

*     Featured Poet, Curbstone Press Poetry in the Park, Julia de Burgos Park,  Willimantic, CT

*     Featured Poet. New York Bowery Poetry Club, NY.  Acentos Review Anniversary

*     Keynote Speaker, Hispanic Heritage Month, Allegheny College, PA

*      Reader, AWP ACENTOS: A Gathering and Celebration of Latino and Latina Poets.  February, 2008. Readers included Scheduled readers include Martin Espada, Rafael Campo, Aracelis Girmay, Willie Perdomo. Hosted by Rich Villar.

*     Keynote Speaker,
Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading.  Mystic Arts Center

*     Acentos Bronx Poetry Showcase.  The Bruckner Bar and Grill

*     Poetry reader and panelist. 
Newburyport Literary Festival

*     Poetry Celebration Keynote Speaker, Cumberland County College, New Jersey

*     Featured Poet, Hygienic Gallery, New London, CT

*     Keynote Speaker, Hispanic Heritage Month, Wright State University

*     Featured Poet, Connecticut College

  Recent Letters:

Dear Jose:
Thank you for your humanity, your warmth, ... everybody was buzzing about your presentation."
Professor Kevin McGarvey, Cumberland County College

Dear Jose:
Jose, your obvious public speaking talents, coupled with your breadth of knowledge make you a dynamic speaker. You weave humor and pathos into your presentations captivating your audiences! Your presentations aren't simply lectures - they are events!
Julie Johnson
Associate Director
College of Fine Arts Advising
University of Nevada Las Vegas

Dear Jose:
I want to thank you for allowing me to use the audio recording of your poem “The Autobrownography of a New England Latino” as the centerpiece for the keynote address I delivered to the annual NM/WTSAP (New Mexico/West Texas Student Assistance Programs) TRiO conference in Albuquerque this past April.  The two hundred Latino college students in the audience enthusiastically enjoyed your remarkable work; I could see the personal glimmers of recognition in their eyes and the repeated affirmations and nods as they shared your descriptions of your educational journey.  Without question, your evocative words were inspirational and I was personally very happy to have been able to share your creation with them.  Thanks for your very meaningful contribution to our event and your words’ great promise and generosity of spirit.
John Whitman
TRiO/SSS & Tutoring Programs Director
Santa Fe Community College
Santa Fe, NM

There have been sooooo many great comments.  Everyone loved you ... you really entertained peopled and engaged them.
Juanita Campbell-Heredia, Union Latina
Allegheny College

Hi Jose,
Thank you so much for being the speaker at our Langston Hughes event.  I was knocked off my feet by your speech and poetry.  I hope you got a chance to see the Norwich Bulletin article about the event-it wrote about the laughter and the wonder of your "brown" autobiographical poem.  I loved your part in the event.  You have a teacher's ear for keeping your listeners interested. We were listening to you.  And thanks for your actor's voice which you projected.  I'll be listening for your comments on NPR.
Jackie Hemond
Norwich Otis Library



Poetry Review:
Almost each poet in the collection [of OCHO] is able to locate the organic interchange between past and present, maintaining reverence toward self and seemingly, toward much of the Latino culture.  Perhaps Jose B. Gonzalez best captures this duality in his poem “Fleeing For Work” when exclaiming his desire to “rinse [himself] with drops of mud, & curse the distance between dirt, clean water & our blood.”  These chilling lines reverberate throughout the entire issue, enhanced by the truths of Gonzalez’s talented contemporaries.
The Montserrat Review


Picture of Escuela Urbana Edelmira Molina in El Salvador,
the first school Jose B. Gonzalez attended


Jose B. Gonzalez in the News

"Latino Gives Keynote Address"

"The Buzz: Jose B. Gonzalez"

*   "Professor Wins Faculty of Year Award"

"Library Highlights Diversity"

"New London High Grad Earns Fulbright Scholarship"



Samples of his Work:

*    NPR All Things Considered: “The Bilingual Conundrum”

*    Audio:  "Autobrownography of a New England Latino"

*    Video: New London High School Commencement Speech

*    Video: CT Immigrant Day Ceremony Keynote Speech

*    Text Version
of "Autobrownography"



At the Acentos Madre of All Latino Poetry Readings,  February 1st, 2008 at El Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños at Hunter College.  Photo by poet and artist,  Oscar Bermeo.  L-R: Louis Reyes Rivera, Raquel Rivera, Emily Perez, Urayoán Noel, elena minor, Sheryl Luna, Roberto Tejada, Xochiquetzal Candelaria, Blas Falconer, Diana Marie Delgado (foreground), Rodrigo Toscano, Sandra Garcia Rivera, Suzanne Frischkorn (obscured), Rosa Alcalá , Francisco Aragón, Javier Huerta, Eduardo C. Corral, Fish Vargas, Peter Ramos (background), Sandra Maria Esteves, Mundo Rivera, Raina León, Maria Nieves, Eliel Lucero, Rafael Campo, Curator & Host- Rich Villar, Martín Espada, Jose B. Gonzalez (foreground), Brenda Cardenas, Willie Perdomo, and Aracelis Girmay. (Featured reader not in photo: Edwin Torres.)


John S. Christie, Ph.D., is the author of Latino Fiction and the Modernist Imagination, published originally in 1998 by Garland Press and now available for free on this site.  Dr. Christie teaches at Capital Community College in Hartford, Connecticut.  He has contributed articles and reviews to the academic journals Latin American Literary Review and American Fiction Studies, guest edited a special issue on Latino Literature for the journal LIT: Literature, Interpretation, Theory , and has served as book review editor for the journal MELUS (Multiethnic Literature of the United States).



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Copyright 2015 LatinoStories.com design and content by John S. Christie and Jose B. Gonzalez
Copyright 2006 Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature, Pearson Education, Inc.
Copyright 2006 Latino Fiction and the Modernist Imagination, John S. Christie
Last Updated: December 11, 2017