After 9 years as a public high school teacher in Louisiana, Massachusetts, and California, I decided to pursue my creative writing more seriously and have been living as a freelance writer who travels and enjoys new cultures around the world. I'm a San Francisco Bay Area local but also have been finalizing my paperwork as a Mexican dual-citizen, so am jumping between both countries while I continue to write, edit, teach, and grow. In 2018, I graduated with my MFA in Creative Writing from the University of San Francisco where I was a Lawrence Ferlinghetti Poetry Fellow, which is awarded to a writer “whose work embodies a concern for social justice and freedom of expression.” Previously, I attended Foothill Community College, and later UC Berkeley, where I participated in June Jordan's Poetry for the People program. I also got some game from Patricia Smith, among others, at the Voices Of Our Nations summer workshops. My first poetry collection, This Is Not a Frank Ocean Cover Album, was the winner of the 2018 Black River Chapbook Competition and my second, Piñata Theory, was given the 2018 Hudson Prize. They are both available with Black Lawrence Press. Currently, I'm working as an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco, managing my online NBA zine HeadFake, moonlighting as an assistant poetry editor at AGNI Magazine, and raising money for NBA arena workers during COVID-19. For more info, find me on Twitter @alan_chazaro.
Here's some drawings my high school students surprised me with, making me look much better than in real life!