Rafael Jesus Gonzalez

Poet Laureate of Berkeley
2017 – 2022

Reading Poets are Dangerous

Rafael Jesús González, Prof. Emeritus of literature and creative writing, was born and raised biculturally/bilingually in El Paso, Texas/Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, and taught at various universities before settling at Laney College, Oakland, California where he founded the Dept. of Mexican & Latin-American Studies in1969. Also a visual artist, he has exhibited in the Oakland Museum of California, the Mexican Museum of San Francisco, and others in the U.S. and Mexico. Four times nominated for a Pushcart price, he was honored by the National Council of Teachers of English and Annenberg CPB for his writing in 2003. In 2013 he received a César E. Chávez Lifetime Award and was honored by the City of Berkeley with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 13th Annual Berkeley Poetry Festival 2015. He is the first poet laureate of Berkeley.