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Latina/o/x Studies

Celebrando Latina/o/x heritage

2023 Latinx Heritage Month Display

Pictured above, the 2023 display was created in collaboration with the César E. Chávez Center for Higher Education. The display sought to celebrate Latinx heritage and highlight resources of the University Library in support of Latinx creators, authors, researchers, and community members. 

Eduardo Galeano (1940-2015), born in Montevideo, Uruguay, was an essayist, journalist, historian, and activist, as well as one of Latin America’s most beloved literary figures. Galeano’s books include the trilogy Memory of Fire; The Book of Embraces; We Say No; Walking Words; and Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone. His last book, Children of the Days (Los híjos de los días), was published in English in 2013. An outspoken critic of the increasingly dehumanizing effects of globalization on modern society, Galeano remained a passionate advocate for human rights and justice.

Galeano, who received the first Lannan Prize for Cultural Freedom in 1999, once said, “I’m trying to create a synthesis of all different ways of expressing life and reality…I tried to find a way of recounting history so that the reader would feel that it was happening right now, just around the corner—this immediacy, this intensity, which is the beauty and the reality of history.”

Roberto Lovato was born in San Francisco to Salvadoran immigrants who raised him in the City by the Bay’s historic Mission District, home to the highest concentration of murals of any neighborhood in the world—and the reason his aesthetic is California urban not “tropical.”

Lovato is an educator, journalist and writer based at The Writers Grotto. He’s also the author of Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs and Revolution in the Americas (Harper Collins). A recipient of a reporting grant from the Pulitzer Center, Lovato has reported on the drug war, violence, terrorism in Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Haiti, France and the United States.

Before the tragedy and crisis of the war raging in El Salvador, Roberto made the difficult decision to join the FMLN guerrillas fighting the U.S.-backed fascist military dictatorship responsible for killing eighty five percent of the almost 80,000 men, women and children in El Salvador during the war, according to the very detailed report produced by the United Nations Truth Commission.

Roque Dalton (1935-1975) was born in San Salvador, El Salvador on May 14, 1935. His father was one of the members of the outlaw Dalton brothers and his mother was a registered nurse whose salary supported the family. 

After a year at the University of Santiago, Chile, Roque Dalton attended the University of San Salvador in 1956, where he helped found the University Literary Circle. The following year he joined the Communist Party; he was arrested in 1959 and 1960 for inciting students and peasants to revolt against landowners. Dalton was sentenced to be executed, but the dictatorship of Colonel José María Lemus was overthrown the day before his sentence was to be carried out. 

He spent 1961 in Mexican exile, writing many of the poems that were published in La Ventana en el rostro ("The Window in My Face," 1961) and El turno del ofendido ("The Injured Party's Turn," 1962). He dedicated the latter book to the Salvadoran police chief who had filed the charges against him. 

From Mexico, Dalton traveled to Cuba, where he was well received by the Cuban and Latin American exiled writers who gathered in the Casa de las Américas. From that point on, starting with La Ventana en el rostro and El Mar ("The Sea") in 1962, almost all of his poetic work was published in Cuba. 

In the summer of 1965, he returned to El Salvador to continue his political work. Two months after his arrival, he was arrested, tortured, and again sentenced to execution; however, he escaped after an earthquake damaged his cell wall. He returned to Cuba, and a few months later, the Communist Party sent him to Prague as a correspondent for The International Review: Problems of Peace and Socialism. 

In 1969 his book Taberna y otros lugares ("Tavern and Other Places"), reflecting his long stay in Prague, won the Casa de las Américas poetry prize. In 1975, a military faction of the Ejército Revolucionario del Pueblo (ERP) accused him of trying to divide their organization and condemned him to death. Dalton was executed on May 10, 1975, four days before his fortieth birthday. 


Balam Rodrigo is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Central American Book of the Dead (FCE, 2018), winner of the Premio Bellas Artes de Poesía Aguascalientes; Marabunta (Ala Ediciones, 2021); and El tañedor de cadáveres (CONARTE, 2021). A biologist, writer, and former professional soccer player, he lives in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México.

Erika L. Sánchez is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her debut poetry collection, Lessons on Expulsion, was published by Graywolf in July 2017, and was a finalist for the PEN America Open Book Award. Her debut young adult novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, published in October 2017 by Knopf Books for Young Readers, was a New York Times bestseller, a National Book Awards finalist, and Tomás Rivera Award winner. Time has recognized it as one of the best YA novels of all time. It is now is being made into a film directed by America Ferrera. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter has also been adapted to the theater at Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago and Seattle Rep Theater. Most recently Sánchez published a critically acclaimed memoir-in-essays titled Crying in the Bathroom with Viking Books. It won the Chicago Review of Books Nonfiction award in 2022. Sánchez was a Fulbright Scholar, a 2015 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent fellow from the Poetry Foundation, a 2017-2019 Princeton Arts Fellow, a 2018 recipient of the 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library Foundation, and a 2019 recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She lives in Chicago with her family.

Sandra Cisneros: I was born in Chicago in 1954, the third child and only daughter in a family of seven children. I studied at Loyola University of Chicago (B.A. English, 1976) and the University of Iowa (M.F.A. Creative Writing, 1978).

I've worked as a teacher and counselor to high-school dropouts, as an artist-in-the-schools where I taught creative writing at every level except first grade and pre-school, a college recruiter, an arts administrator, and as a visiting writer at a number of universities including the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. My books include a chapbook of poetry, Bad Boys (Mango Press, 1980); two full-length poetry books, My Wicked Wicked Ways (Third Woman Press, 1987; Random House, 1992) and Loose Woman (Alfred A. Knopf, 1994); a collection of stories, Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (Random House, 1991); a children's book, Hairs/Pelitos (Alfred A. Knopf, 1994); the novels The House on Mango Street (Vintage, 1991) and Caramelo (Knopf, 2002), and the picture book Have You Seen Marie? (Knopf 2012). A House of My Own: Stories from My Life (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015)  is a collection of personal essays, and Puro Amor (Sarabande 2018) is a bilingual story that I also illustrated. Forthcoming works include the Spanish and English story Martita, I Remember You/Martita te recuerdo (Vintage 2021) and a poetry collection, Mujer Sin Vergüenza (2022).

Sandra Cisneros: Nací en Chicago en 1954, siendo la tercera y única hija de una familia de siete hermanos.  Estudié en la Universidad Loyola de Chicago (Licenciatura en Letras Inglesas, 1976) y en la Universidad de Iowa (Maestría en Creación Literaria, 1978).

He trabajado como profesora y consejera de alumnos que abandonaron sus estudios, y como artista en las escuelas enseñando escritura creativa en todos los niveles, excepto en primer grado y en preescolar. He sido reclutadora (?) universitaria, administradora de las artes y escritora visitante en varias universidades, entre ellas la Universidad de California en Berkeley y la Universidad de Michigan en Ann Arbor.

Entre mis libros figuran una plaquette de poesía, Bad Boys (Mango Press, 1980); dos libros completos de poesía, My Wicked Wicked Ways (Third Woman Press, 1987; Random House, 1992) y Loose Woman (Alfred A. Knopf, 1994); una colección de relatos, El arroyo de la Llorona y otros cuentos (Vintage Español, 1996); un libro infantil, Hairs/Pelitos (Alfred A. Knopf, 1994); las novelas, La casa en Mango Street (Vintage Español, 2009) y Caramelo (Vintage Español, 2003), y el libro ilustrado, ¿Has visto a María? (Vintage Español, 2014). Una casa propia: Historia de mi vida (Vintage Español, 2016) es una colección de ensayos personales, y Puro Amor (Sarabande Books, 2018) es un cuento bilingüe que también he ilustrado. Entre mis próximos libros se encuentran un relato en español e inglés titulado Martita, I Remember You/Martita, te recuerdo (Vintage, 2021) y un poemario, Mujer Sin Vergüenza, que se publicará en 2022.

Gabriel García Márquez was born in 1927 in the small town of Aracataca, situated in a tropical region of northern Colombia, between the mountains and the Caribbean Sea. He grew up with his maternal grandparent – his grandfather was a pensioned colonel from the civil war at the beginning of the century. He went to a Jesuit college and began to read law, but his studies were soon broken off for his work as a journalist. In 1954 he was sent to Rome on an assignment for his newspaper, and since then he has mostly lived abroad – in Paris, New York, Barcelona and Mexico – in a more or less compulsory exile. Besides his large output of fiction he has written screenplays and has continued to work as a journalist.


In 1954, Luis J. Rodríguez was born in El Paso, Texas. He grew up in Watts and the East Los Angeles area, where his family faced poverty and discrimination. A gang member and drug user at the age of twelve, by the time he turned eighteen, Rodríguez had lost twenty-five of his friends to gang violence, drug overdoses, shootings, and suicide. He wrote two autobiographical accounts of his experiences with gang violence and addiction, It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing (Touchstone, 2012), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography, and Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. (Curbstone Books, 1993), winner of the Carl Sandburg Award of the Friends of the Chicago Public Library.

His books of poetry include My Nature is Hunger: New & Selected Poems, 1989-2004 (Curbstone Books, 2005), winner of a 2006 Paterson Poetry Book Prize; Trochemoche (Curbstone Books, 1998); The Concrete River (Curbstone Books, 1991), which won a PEN West/Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence; and Poems Across the Pavement (Tía Chucha, 1989), which received San Francisco State University’s Poetry Center Book Award. He is also a journalist and critic and the founder of Tía Chucha Press, which publishes emerging, socially conscious poets. In May 1998, Curbstone Press published his first children’s book, entitled América Is Her Name. In 2014, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Rodríguez as the poet laureate of Los Angeles. Rodríguez currently resides in California and manages the Tía Chucha Cultural Center in San Fernando.

Francisco Jiménez immigrated with his family to California from Tlaquepaque, Mexico, and as a child he worked in the fields of California. He is currently the Fay Boyle Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, and director of the Ethnic Studies Program at Santa Clara University. Having received his B.A. from SCU and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Latin American literature from Columbia University under a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, he has served on various professional boards and commissions, including the California Council for the Humanities, Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (WASC), the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Santa Clara University Board of Trustees and the Far West Lab for Educational Research and Development. He has published and edited several books on Mexican and Mexican American literature, and his stories have been published in over 50 textbooks and anthologies of literature.

He was selected the 2002 U.S. Professor of the Year by CASE and Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.