Marcelo Hernandez Castillo headshot.
Photo by Yolanda Herrejon

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Poet, Memoirist, Translator

2024 Fellow


Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is a poet, memoirist, and translator who writes toward the place of his birth, Mexico, from the place of his home in the California central valley.

His most recent book is Children of the Land: A Memoir (Harper Collins), which chronicles his family’s long history with borders, documentation, and displacement through immigration enforcement. He is also author of the collection of poems Cenzontle, which was the winner of the A. Poulin Jr. Prize from BOA Editions, and long-listed for the California Book Award and the Lambda Literary Award, among other notable recognitions.

As one of the founding members of the Undocupoets campaign—which successfully eliminated citizenship requirements from all major American book poetry prizes—he was honored with the Writers for Writers award. He is currently at work on an anthology forthcoming from HarperCollins Perennial that intends to archive new and established poets into a literary field of “undocupoetics.”

He now serves as faculty in the MFA program at St. Mary’s College of California and the Ashland University Low-Res MFA program in Ohio. He has held fellowships including a distinguished fellow position for the Marshall Project’s Art for Justice initiative and the CantoMundo Fellowship for Latinx Poets.