Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  David Hernandez  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Poetry

Born: 1946 in Cidra, Peurto Rico


Illinois Connection

Hernandez moved with his family to Chicago when he was very young. He grew up in the Wrigleyville neighborhood and lived in Chicago his entire life.

Biographical and Professional Information

david Hernandez has been called the "unofficial Poet Laureate of Chicago" and was commissioned by the city to write and perform the 1987 poem celebrating Chicago's 150th anniversary, as well as the inagural poem for the late Mayor Harold Washington. He is a founding member of the Latino Arts Movement. Hernandez was the first recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Outstanding Poet of Illinois award and also won the Illinois State Library Patron' s Choice award. In 1971, he founded Street Sounds, a poetry music group. He worked out of his Blue Line studio where he lived, wrote, conducted writing classes, organized shows and exhibits and performed with his group. Hernandez was also was a former board member of the Society of Midland Authors.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Rooftop Piper
ISBN: 0962428736

Tia Chucha. 1991

Book by Hernandez, David

The Urban Poems
ISBN: 1933126043

Fractal Edge Press. 2004

At long last Hernández has compiled the urban poems that were the responses to John Starrs' book, The Suburban Poems. Many of Hernández' signature poems are gathered here from previous books and other publications. Book designer and publisher Wayne Allen Jones made the design elements of this book operate as foils to similar elements of Starr's book. Rich with images from Chicago's Humboldt Park and its Puerto Rican heritage, this book in quintessential Chicago poetry, Chicago spirit, and pure Chicago per se.



1st recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Outstanding Poet Of Illinois Award

Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Award, SIU Press

Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, 2014Received grants and recognitions from the National Endowment Of The Arts, the Council Of Christians and Jews, The Chicago Symphony Museum, The Chicago Humanities Council, The Illinois State Library, the Illinois Arts Council and the Chicago Department Of Cultural Affairs.