John Martinez

John Martinez John Martinez studied Creative Writing at Fresno State University in the late seventies and early eighties with the late Philip Levine. During this time, he also performed music with Teatro De La Tierra (Agustin Lira) and toured with them for two years. After four years, at Fresno State University, and touring, on and off with Teatro, Martinez began working with the U.S. Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, and they formed the Music-Art -Performance Group TROKA and, subsequently, went on tour, performing throughout the United States. He then moved to Los Angeles to further his education, and to, possibly, attend Southwestern Law School. But, because of economic obligations (he was a single parent, and had a child to support), he began work in a Los Angeles Firm as an Investigator. Three years later, he was appointed Chief Investigator for that firm. In 1987, he met his wife, Rosa America, and they purchased a home in Los Angeles. From 1987 to 2013, Martinez concentrated on career advancement, which conflicted with his writing schedule, and eventually obstructed his creativity. However, in the back of his mind, he always identified as a poet-a man of words. It wasn't easy to forfeit what he loved, especially when his brother, Victor Martinez, who also studied with Levine, was stacking up the accolades as a writer. In particular, Victor was awarded the National Book Award in 1996 for his Novel, Parrot In The Oven. In 2011, when his brother, Victor, died of cancer, John did a complete turnaround. He states that it was the death bed conversation he had with Victor that changed his life. In this conversation, this unforgettable moment for John, Victor snarled at him, telling him that he was a "fool" and to "be a writer"-- an agreement, a “brothers contract.” John describes a portion of this moment: “when I stood up and gestured to the window, the street below Victor's, La Mission Flat, I said, 'Vic, did you see the sports car I rolled up in? I'm not the same guy, Vic...I've become a workaholic, Vic' And Victor looked at me and said, 'For who, John, and for what?'" And so, seeing his brother, in his last day, too weak to elaborate, but strong enough to muster up a necessary ball busting upon his younger brother, John made a promise to him, that he would write until it was his final day. John Martinez now works as Chief Administrator for a reputable Los Angeles Law Firm. Since 2011, John Martinez has produced three books of poetry, two of which are being published by Izote Press, and will be ready for AWP in Washington in 2017. In addition, he has produced an unpublished Novel, Wilshire Rain, which covers white collar crime in the Personal Injury business in Los Angeles, and covers the formation of Special Investigation Units.