David Bowles (author)

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David Bowles
An image of author David Bowles taken in June of 2016.
Bowles in 2016
Born David Oscar Bowles, Jr.
(1970-02-27)February 27, 1970
Upper Marlboro, Maryland, United States
Occupation Poet, novelist, translator
Notable works The Smoking Mirror
Flower, Song, Dance: Aztec and Mayan Poetry
Notable awards Pura Belpré Author Honor; Texas Institute of Letters Translation Award;

David Bowles (born 1970) is an American poet, translator and author.

Life and career[edit]

David Bowles was born to residents of the Rio Grande Valley of Texas in 1970. Raised in an ethnically diverse family with Mexican-American roots,[1] [2] [3] he was hooked on dark folktales at an early age by his grandmother Marie Garza, the family storyteller.[4]

Those stories got him interested in reading at an early age, setting him on a path to become an English teacher.[5] During his third year in the classroom, he returned to the folktales of his childhood to encourage Mexican-American students who struggled to read.[5] His retelling of the stories for middle-schoolers led to his first book, The Seed.[2]

Bowles' research into border legends has been featured on Monsters and Mysteries in America[6] in the eighth episode of season two: "Winged Beasts: Flying Humanoid, Jersey Devil, Batsquatch."[4] He is currently developing a TV series based on his book Border Lore with Mucho Más Media and Campanario Entertainment.[7]

In addition to folklore, Bowles has translated poetry from Nahuatl,[8] Yucatec Mayan,[9] Spanish and Japanese, which have appeared in journals such as Rattle, Translation Review, Asymptote, and Metamorphosis: A Journal of Literary Translation.[3] His original poetry has been featured in Concho River Review, Journal of Children's Literature, BorderSenses and Huizache, among other venues.[10]

Bowles also writes speculative fiction.[10] He has had stories published in Strange Horizons[11] and Apex Magazine[12] and is currently writing a YA fantasy series called Garza Twins[13] that features Latino protagonists and Mesoamerican mythology.[14] He is one of several co-authors working with Adam Gidwitz on the Unicorn Rescue Society series for Dutton Penguin.[15] He and illustrator Raúl "the Third" González solid their project Clockwork Curandera to Tu Books. Publishing in fall 2019, the graphic novel has been described as "a reimagining of Frankenstein in an alternate colonial Mexico."[16]

From 2012-2017, Bowles was the book reviewer for regional newspaper The Monitor.[3] In February 2017, David Bowles was elected to the Texas Institute of Letters.[17]

Bowles resides with his wife and children in Donna, Texas. Holding a Master's in English and a doctorate in Education, he is a professor in the Department of Literatures & Cultural Studies at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where he teaches courses on children's and adolescent literature.[1] [4]

Bowles is represented by Taylor Martindale Kean and Stefanie Von Borstel of Full Circle Literary.[18]

Awards and honors[edit]




  • The Chupacabras of the Rio Grande (The Unicorn Rescue Society, #4). Co-authored by Adam Gidwitz. Illustrated by Hatem Aly. New York: Dutton Penguin, 2019. (Forthcoming.)
  • Clockwork Curandera. Illustrated by Raúl the Third. New York, NY: Tu Books, 2019. (Forthcoming.)
  • The Hidden City. (Garza Twins #3). Melbourne: IFWG Publishing, 2018.(Forthcoming.)
  • Chupacabra Vengeance. Tigard, Oregon: Broken River Books, 2017.
  • Lords of the Earth. Hobart, Australia: Severed Press, 2016.
  • A Kingdom Beneath the Waves (Garza Twins #2). Melbourne: IFWG Publishing, 2016.
  • The Smoking Mirror (Garza Twins #1). Melbourne: IFWG Publishing, 2015.
  • Strange Texas Tales That Never Die (Volumes 1-4). Killeen, TX: Overlooked Books, 2014.
  • The Seed: Stories from the River's Edge. Spring, TX: Absey & Co., 2011.

Myth and Legend

  • Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico. El Paso, Texas: Cinco Puntos Press, 2018.
  • Ghosts of the Rio Grande Valley. Charleston: The History Press, 2016.
  • Border Lore: Folktales and Legends of South Texas. Beaumont, TX: Lamar University Press, 2015.
  • Creature Feature: 13 Frightening Folktales of the Rio Grande Valley. McAllen, TX: AIM Media Texas, 2013.
  • Mexican Bestiary. Donna, TX: VAO Publishing, 2012.


  • They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid's Poems. El Paso, TX: Cinco Puntos Press, 2018. (Forthcoming.)
  • Shattering and Bricolage. Dallas, TX: Ink Brush Press, 2014.


  • El verano de las mariposas. Translation of Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe García McCall. New York, NY: Tu Books, 2018.
  • Flower, Song, Dance: Aztec and Mayan Poetry. Beaumont, TX: Lamar University Press, 2013.


  • Along the River (Volumes 1-3). Series editor. Donna, TX: VAO Publishing, 2011-2014.
  • Donna Hooks Fletcher: Life and Writings. Donna, TX: VAO Publishing, 2012.
  • Stories That Must Not Die. Series editor. San Antonio: National Educational Systems, 2012-2013.


  • Here We Go: A Poetry Friday Power Book. Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, editors. Princeton, NJ: Pomelo Books, 2017.
  • Texas Weather: An Anthology of Poetry, Short Fiction, and Nonfiction. Terry Dalrymple and Laurence Musgrove, editors. Beaumont, TX: Lamar University Press, 2016.
  • Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems. Scott Wiggerman and Cindy Huyser, editors. Albuquerque: Dos Gatos Press, 2016.
  • Imaniman: Poets Writing in the Anzaldúan Borderlands. ire’ne lara silva and Dan Vera, editors. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books, 2016.
  • Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers. E.R. Bills and Bret McCormick, editors. Fort Worth, TX: Eakin Press, 2016.
  • Goodbye, Mexico: Poems of Remembrance. Sarah Cortez, editor. Huntsville, TX: Texas Review Press, 2015.
  • ¡Juventud! Growing up on the Border. René Saldaña, Jr. and Erika Garza-Johnson, editors. Donna, TX: VAO Publishing, 2013.




External links[edit]