Juan J. Morales was born in the U.S. to an Ecuadorian mother and a Puerto Rican father. He grew up in Colorado hearing family stories that inspired much of his first book of poetry, Friday and the Year that Followed (2006).  His poetry has appeared in Acentos Review, Border Senses, PALABRA, Poet Lore, Washington Square, Zone 3, and other journals.  He is the Director of Creative Writing and an Assistant Professor at Colorado State University-Pueblo, where he also curates the Southern Colorado Reading Series and is the faculty sponsor for the student literary magazine Tempered Steel.