About Paul S. Flores

Paul S. Flores is a published poet, performance artist, playwright, and well known spoken word artist. He was raised in Chula Vista, CA and spent much of his youth in Tijuana, Mexico. Flores’ PEN Award winning novel ALONG THE BORDER LIES reflects this experience. Flores work explores the intersection of urban culture, Hip-Hop and transnational identity. His spoken word poem “Brown Dreams” from Def Poetry on HBO has been viewed on YouTube 100,000 times, and continues to inform and influence young people all over the United States.

After playing professional baseball for the Chicago Cubs, Paul received his degree from University of California, San Diego and then moved to San Francisco in 1995 to complete the MFA Creative Writing Program at San Francisco State University. In 1996, he co-founded the Latino poetry performance group Los Delicados with Norman Zelaya and Darren de Leon and recorded a CD titled WORD DESCARGA (Calaca Press, 2000). Flores’ performance projects have taken him from HBO's Def Poetry to Cuba, Mexico and El Salvador.

Flores was named The San Francisco Weekly's 2011 Best Politically Active Hip-Hop Performance Artist for his solo show YOU'RE GONNA CRY, directed by Brian Freeman which documents the demographic shift of The Mission District after the "dot-com" boom. Flores’ play REPRESENTA! features Cuban rapper Julio Cardenas, directed by Danny Hoch, and originally produced by La Peña Cultural Center and the San Francisco International Arts Festival at the Hip-Hop Theater Festival in 2007 and later toured to 17 cities. His newest play PLACAS: The Most Dangerous Tattoo (2012) was directed by Michael John Garcés, and starred Ric Salinas of Culture Clash. PLACAS premiered at the Lorraine Hansberry Theater in Union Square, San Francisco as a co-production of SFIAF and Central American Resource Center, and later toured to The Los Angeles Theater Center, and Off Broadway at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in New York City. Flores has received the National Performance Network Creation Fund, NEA Theater grant, San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artist Grant, CCI Investing in Artists Grant, and National Association for Latino Arts and Culture Fund for the Arts, among other awards. 

Flores is a highly respected youth arts educator. As a co-founder of Youth Speaks Inc., he introduced spoken word to hundreds of thousands of youth all over the country, and helped develop the national platform for young people to build peer relationships and strategize toward a better future through the Brave New Voices: National Teen Poetry Slam, now seen on HBO. Flores currently manages the Latino Men & Boys Program, funded by The California Endowment, at The Unity Council in East Oakland. He is also adjunct faculty of Theater at the University of San Francisco. He lives in San Francisco with his children.