Daisy Hernández



Daisy Hernandez

For speaking requests contact Jodi Solomon Speakers Bureau.

Daisy Hernández is the author of the award-winning memoir A Cup of Water Under My Bed and coeditor of Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today's Feminism. The former editor of ColorLines magazine, she has reported for The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Slate, and she has written for NPR's All Things Considered and CodeSwitch. Her essays and fiction have appeared in Aster(ix), Bellingham Review, Brevity, Dogwood, Fourth Genre, Gulf Coast, Juked, and Rumpus among other journals. A contributing editor for the Buddhist magazine Tricycle, Daisy is an Assistant Professor in the Creative Writing Program at Miami University in Ohio.

… people absolutely loved her. They are still talking about her lecture and how it has influenced their thinking. That is pretty wonderful feedback coming from a wide range of folk: young, middle-aged, white, people of color, men, women. Daisy was a hit in Minnesota!
— University of Minnesota

For twelve years, I've been speaking at colleges, conferences and organizations about political and social issues including:

feminism, race and writing true stories

immigrant families and queer identity

media representations & ethnic communities

memoir writing as political action

spirituality and women's lives

... and now: "Love In a Time of Trump"

a few more details...

I grew up in New Jersey where I heard the best stories about Cuba and Colombia and this lady who knows how to eat an avocado so you won’t get pregnant. It’s also where I first learned about feminism, queer identity, race and immigration in the Americas. You can read these stories in my memoir, A Cup of Water Under My Bed, which won the 2015 IPPY award for best coming-of-age memoir and the 2014 Bisexual Book Award for best memoir. The memoir is now available in Spanish with a new afterword about underwear and the politics of language.

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As a memoirist, journalist and cultural activist, I’ve been speaking at colleges, conferences and organizations for the past twelve years on feminism, race, immigration, queer issues, and spirituality. I love sharing with audiences the lessons I’ve learned and the ways that we can create inclusive and racially just communities.

Though I knew I wanted to be writer when I was a teenager, I didn’t know where to start and my parents who worked in factories had no idea either. Luckily a mentor pushed me during my college years to apply for publishing internships, and I landed at Ms., the iconic feminist magazine. At 25, the magazine invited me to become a columnist, and then with my comadre, the author Bushra Rehman, I co-edited the anthology Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism. That first edition came out in 2002. USA Today calls the book 1 of the “27 Things To Read If You Care About Women Of Color” and Buzzfeed says it’s 1 of “19 Books On Intersectionality That Taylor Swift Should Read.” I’m thrilled to share that a new edition of Colonize This! will be published in early 2019.

My work with Ms. magazine and my master’s degree from NYU’s journalism school took me to the New York Times where I reported for the Metro desk on fires, the flagging economy, community gardens and how undocumented immigrants decide whether to file tax returns. At ColorLines, a newsmagazine on race and politics, I spent six amazing years as an editor working with a virtual, multi-racial newsroom of reporters, activists, and bloggers. During my tenure as managing editor, ColorLines was awarded UTNE’s General Excellence Award in 2007. My ColorLines article “Becoming a Black Man” about how transgender people of color experience race when they transition was nominated for a 2009 GLAAD Media Award.



And then I ended up on Fox News.

Well, my writing did. I wrote a commentary that aired on NPR's All Things Considered, and Bill O'Reilly and Juan Williams blasted me for "injecting race" into the news. I still take that as a compliment.

I put journalism on hold in 2011 to pursue my MFA in fiction. I ended up with the draft of a novel and the start of a nonfiction book about a Zika-like disease your doctor probably doesn't know. Now, I’m writing that nonfiction book, and I am an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Miami University in Ohio. I have received writing residencies at Hedgebrook, MacDowell Colony, Blue Mountain Center, and the Djerassi Resident Arts Program. I’ve also had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the Macondo writing workshop started by Sandra Cisneros in San Antonio, Texas, and the VONA workshop in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The educational details: I received a B.A. in English at William Paterson University in New Jersey. I have an M.A. in journalism and Latin American and Caribbean Studies from New York University, and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Miami in Florida.

These days I split my time between Cincinnati and Siler City, North Carolina, where my fiancé saves box turtles, carves wooden spoons, and ushers undergraduates into the world of plant biology. Zami the Cat travels with me because she’s cool like that.