Andrés Montoya was educated at California State University in Fresno, where he studied with Philip Levine. He went on to earn his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Oregon, where he studied with Garrett Hongo. His work appeared in various literary journals, including The Santa Clara Review, In the Grove, Bilingual Review/Revista Bilingüe, and Flies, Cockroaches, and Poets. His various occupations included field hand, ditch digger, canner, ice plant worker, and writing teacher.
He was the author of The Iceworker Sings (Bilingual Press, 1999)—the manuscript that won the 1997 Chicano/Latino Literary Prize at UC Irvine. The judge was Francisco X. Alarcón. The collection went on to win a Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award in 2000. Born on May 18th, 1968, Andrés Montoya died on May 26th, 1999, at the age of 31. The co-founder of the Chicano Writers and Artists Association, Montoya’s work continues to touch many people. A review of his book appears in Electronic Poetry Review #5.
Four poems from The Iceworker Sings, courtesy of Bilingual Press