In conversation with Jose Hernandez Diaz

Our readers would like to know your inspiration (or story, if any) behind Van Gogh’s Ear.

I don’t remember exactly where the title of the poem came from but just vaguely remember that I wanted to write an ode to my favorite painters and lineage utilizing a minimalist palette.

Tell us more about your creative process in general.

My creative process ranges from writing about real life, experimenting with surrealism and absurdism, to working with prompts or any combination of these inspirations.

Do you have any creative influences? What do you like the most about their work? Does it have a discernible effect on your writing?

Some of the writers I admire are James Tate, Ada Limon, Alberto Rios, Terrance Hayes, Harryette Mullen, Diane Seuss, and Franz Kafka to name a few.

Are there any creative genres, forms, themes, techniques etc. you wish you could employ in your writing which you haven’t yet?

Not really, to be honest. I am satisfied with switching back and forth from poetry to prose poetry. It keeps it interesting/keeps me on my toes wondering what’s next.

What are you looking forward to in your creative career?

Right now I am looking forward to the publication of Bad Mexican, Bad American in early 2024, the publication of The Parachutist in early 2025, and three other manuscripts. I have spent a lot of time reading and writing poems. Now, I want to enter the stage of life as an author with various books out in the world.

Jose Hernandez Diaz is a 2017 NEA Poetry Fellow. He is the author of The Fire Eater (Texas Review Press, 2020) and Bad Mexican, Bad American (Acre Books, 2024). His work appears in The American Poetry Review, Bennington Review, Cincinnati Review, Huizache, Iowa Review, The Nation, Poetry, The Progressive, The Southern Review, The Yale Review, and in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2011. He teaches, edits, and writes in Southeast Los Angeles. This is his first publication in India.