José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants. His debut book of poems, Citizen Illegal, was a finalist for the PEN/ Jean Stein Award and a winner of the 2018 Chicago Review of Books Poetry Prize. It was named a top book of 2018 by The Adroit Journal, NPR, and the New York Public Library. Along with Felicia Chavez and Willie Perdomo, he is co-editing the forthcoming anthology, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNEXT. He is the co-host of the poetry podcast, The Poetry Gods. In 2018, he was awarded the first annual Author and Artist in Justice Award from the Phillips Brooks House Association and named a Debut Poet of 2018 by Poets & Writers. In 2019, he was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Paris Review, and elsewhere.
José is an experienced teaching artist. He has taught poetry workshops, developed writing courses, and performed for a variety of community organizations, high schools, book fairs, and universities all over the country including Catapult, The Randolph College MFA Program, Poetry Society of America, Between The Lines Writing Program at Iowa University, the Adirondack Center for Writing, Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of New York, The National Museum of Mexican Art, Arizona State University, University of Iowa, Young Chicago Authors, San Antonio Book Festival, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Colorado College, and Western Washington University among many others.