Hayes, Joe



Joe Hayes is one of America’s premier storytellers–a nationally recognized teller of tales from the Hispanic, Native American and Anglo cultures. His bilingual Spanish-English tellings have earned him a distinctive place among America’s storytellers. His books, CDs and tapes of Southwestern stories are popular nationwide. Born in Pennsylvania, Joe Hayes moved as a child to a small town in southern Arizona, some fifty miles from the Mexican border. From Mexican-American friends and schoolmates he began to acquire a knowledge of Spanish and an appreciation for Hispanic culture. As an adult, his experience with Spanish helped him find work doing mineral exploration in Mexico and Spain. When Joe moved to New Mexico in 1976, he first taught high school English, but his interest in the rich folklore of the region was already growing. He enjoyed sharing stories with his own children so much that he decided to shape a career for himself as a storyteller. Joe gathered traditional stories of the Southwest, added a little of his own spice and hit the road, traveling all over to share his stories. He has captured the imagination of children in schools all over the United States. In 2005, Joe received the Talking Leaves Literary Award from the National Storytelling Network, an award given to members of the storytelling community who have made considerable and influential contributions to the literature of storytelling. Joe has taught storytelling to teachers at the University of New Mexico and been a guest lecturer at many colleges and universities, delivering the commencement address for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at U.C.L.A. He was designated a New Mexico Eminent Scholar by the New Mexico Commission on Higher Education, and in 1995 he received the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence. Joe began sharing his stories in print in 1982. His books have received many awards including the Arizona Young Readers Award, two Land of Enchantment Children’s Book Awards, and an Aesop Accolade Award. Joe’s books have also been on the Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List three times, and Ghost Fever–selected by Texas school children–won the Texas Bluebonnet Award for 2006-2007, the first bilingual book to achieve that distinction.