IN FOCUS: El Monte’s Own Michael Jaime-Becerra

Writer and poet Michael Jaime-Becerra was born in San Gabriel and makes his home in El Monte; and he is most definitely a product of the SGV. A gifted writer with an eye for local detail, he has published a number of books and literary collections, based upon his experiences growing up and living in the San Gabriel Valley. He released his first book of poetry, Look Back and Laugh, in 1997; it gives one a good picture of a slice of life in El Monte and the San Gabriel Valley.

Mr. Jaime-Becerra is an Associate Professor of Creative Writer at UC Riverside and has released two acclaimed books, among his other work. Every Night is Ladies’ Night (2005) is a “collection of 10 interconnected stories set in the hardscrabble, blue-collar town of El Monte captures the essence of Latino life in Southern California” (Publishers Weekly) and 2010’s This Time Tomorrow: A Novel, which won an an International Latino Book Award for Best Novel.

Of Mr. Jaime-Becerra, writer Vickie Vertiz says, “He’ll paint whatever part of El Monte is next, and we’ll be lucky to see ourselves when we read about it. If you don’t see yourself in the stories, then look closely at these portraits of your neighbors so that we can better know each other.”

IN FOCUS will highlight the accomplishments of San Gabriel Valley residents, businesses and organizations who have made their marks on the SGV.