José Ramón Vilahomat Gonzalez was born in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba. His family settled in a suburb of Havana in 1962 where he lived until the age of 27. In 1978, Vilahomat studied Physics in the School of Physics and Mathematics at the University of Havana, in which labs he worked for eight years as a Planar Technician, building solar cells and other non-conventional sources of energy in the Solid State Department. He combined his years in the lab with a new career, Philology that was more in line with his love for poetry and creative writing.
Vilahomat graduated in 1992 in Philology with a specialization on Cuban literature with a thesis on the Cuban writer Ezequiel Vieta. After defecting from Cuba in 1994 he finished a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. in Spanish, both at Florida International University. Some of Vilahomat’s work experience includes being a librarian at the cultural institution “Casa de las Americas” in Havana, a professional printer at Associated Photo in Miami, a paraprofessional of profound-mentally handicapped students, a high school teacher, a translator, an editor, and a photo journalist.
Vilahomat enjoys the ambiance and integrated nature of the liberal arts at Hendrix College and sees a well-rounded education and experiential learning as a vital component of society. His own life reflects this with his love of family, people, nature, outdoors, traveling, reading and water sports.