Manuel J. Velez received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso’s Bilingual Writing Program in 1996. Since then, aside from pursuing his literary goals, he has worked as a high school counselor and Spanish teacher in San Diego, an English Professor at El Paso Community College in El Paso, Texas and is currently Associate Professor of Chicana/o Studies at Mesa College. Manuel’s work has appeared in various publications including Raza Spoken Here Vol. 1, Many Mountains Moving, and Puerto del Sol. He is the winner of the 1996 Pellicer-Frost Binational Poetry Prize and the author of Bus Stops and Other Poems, published by Calaca Press in 1998. Calaca Press also published La Calaca Review, an anthology of Latina/o voices edited by Manuel. He is currently chair of Chicana/o Studies at San Diego Mesa College.
His poem, “A farmworker offers advice to hummingbird flying among the grapevines” appeared on the site on July 31, 2015:
Manuel will receive a $25 honorarium for the prize. We hope readers will be inspired to participate in this process by writing your own poems. Each month we’ll award a $25 prize for the best Reader Poem we receive.