Richard Yañez was born and raised on the U.S./México Border. He is the author of Cross Over Water: A Novel and El Paso del Norte: Stories on the Border, both by the University of Nevada Press. Taught in several college and university courses, the critically-praised book of stories was a finalist for the Steven Turner First Book Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. His work has been widely anthologized in the following: Literary El Paso, Hecho en Tejas: An Anthology of Texas Mexican Literature, U.S. Latino Literature Today, When I Was a Loser: True Stories of (Barely) Surviving High School, Our Working Lives: Stories of People and Work, and Mirrors Beneath The Earth: Short Fiction by Chicano Writers. His chapbook, Sacred Heart, was included in the Chicano Chapbook Series edited by Gary Soto. His work has also appeared in several journals and magazines, including Mezcla: Writing from The Tumblewords Project, PALABRA: A Magazine of Chicano & Latino Art, BorderSenses, Third Coast, Puerto del Sol, and Colorado Review.
He has earned three degrees, all with Honors: a Bachelor’s of Arts from the University of Texas at El Paso, a Master’s of Art from New Mexico State University, and a Master’s of Fine Arts from Arizona State University. In addition, he has received a Fellowship from the Minority Scholar-in-Residence Program and a Fellowship from the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership.
His community advocacy is seen in his work with the Border Book Festival, based in Mesilla, New Mexico, Letras Latinas/Momotombo Press, BorderSenses , and RIPPLES, a Salute to the Arts program at El Paso Community College. He is a founding Advisory Circle Member of Con Tinta, a collective of Chicano/Latino activist writers. A frequent visitor to public schools, he enthusiastically shares his experiences as a writer-educator with middle and high school students.
A professor for over ten years, he has taught courses in Chicana/o Literature, Creative Writing, Expository Writing, Introduction to the Short Story, and Special Topics in Contemporary Literature at Antioch College (OH), Colorado College, Saint Mary’s College (IN), and New Mexico State University. Presently, he is a tenured Associate Professor of English at El Paso Community College.
His current project is a self-ethnography, Beyond Italics: The Chicano Writer at Work, which examines the intersection of his socio-political identity with his literary vocation and explores his creative vision of Voz/Silencio through hybrid texts.
He lives with his wife, the Chicana poet Carolina Monsiváis, and their son, in El Paso, Texas.