Joe Hayes, a gifted storyteller and award-winning author, will present “Tales of the American Southwest” at the Arizona Senior Academy at 4:00 p.m. Friday (March 10) in the ASA Great Room.
Hayes is the author of over 20 books including “The Gum-Chewing Rattler,” “Ghost Fever,” and his latest, “Grandpa’s Hal-La-Loo-Ya Ham Bone” published by Cinco Puntos Press. He won the Texas Blue Bonnet award for “Ghost Fever” and has been designated New Mexico Centennial Storyteller.
Hayes grew up in a small town in southern Arizona. His schoolmates and friends, many of whom were Mexican-American, taught him how to speak Spanish. As Joe got older, he began reading the work of folklorists and anthropologists and gathering the old stories from the region that he calls home, the Southwestern United States. When his own children were young, Joe enjoyed telling them stories. He decided that this would be the way he would earn a living.
His story-telling is based on the traditional lore of the American Southwest and what his experience tells him listeners need to be satisfied with a story. He loves to write tall tales that come out of his childhood.
Hayes has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Arizona. He taught at Sunnyside High School for three years before moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Every summer he performs his storytelling at Santa Fe’s Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian.
In addition to his presentation at the Academy, Hayes will talk at the Tucson Festival of Books on Saturday and Sunday.
Written by Patricia Stewart, Academy Village Volunteer