Author’s Page: Ben Herron, MFA
Poet. Writer. Teacher. Social Worker. Friend. Husband. Father.
Bennie Herron is all of these. Born in the gang-dominated area of Southeast San Diego to a blue-collar family, Bennie had a challenging but fulfilling childhood. A childhood full of stories that have been the undercurrent of his writing and the basis of his connection with the population that he has served as a Social Worker.
After managing his way through youth as a hip-hop dancer and rap artist, Bennie found himself at a crossroads. Like a lot of youth, he felt full of potential and anxious to start his life after high school. The options were few and money was even more scarce. Ultimately, he decided to attend junior college. While there, he joined the football team where he excelled and was fortunate to receive a full, athletic scholarship to a four-year college, Cal State Northridge University. Relieved to receive the opportunity to earn a degree, he majored in Psychology.
After a disappointing attempt to enter the NFL, he returned back to his hometown and to another crossroads. He decided to enter the Masters in Social Work program at San Diego State University. Later, he also earned his Masters in Fine Arts.
Meanwhile, he became a strong force on the poetry scene. He became a member of the Taco Shop Poets, a nationally acclaimed performance group. He was also the Resident Poet for a San Diego bookstore where he hosted numerous readings and workshops.
While still performing and writing, Bennie also worked with disenfranchised youth as a Counselor and Case Manager in the group home, college and juvenile detention centers settings. His most recent work included assisting non-violent prisoners transition into society.
Based on his passion and experience with writing and social change, Bennie created The Word Cooperative Arts program to bring healing and empowerment to today’s youth.
Churches and Liquor Stores, cd
MFA thesis in the San Diego State University Library