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This profile was last updated on 8/1/13  and contains information from public web pages.

Ms. Lorna Dee Cervantes

Wrong Lorna Dee Cervantes?

UC Regents Lecturer

Local Address: San Francisco, California, United States
UC Berkeley
 
Background

Employment History

  • Founder and Editor-In-Chief
    MANGO Publications
  • Founder and Editor In Chief
    MANGO Publications
  • Poet
  • Associate Professor of English
    University of Colorado
  • Creative Writing Teacher
    University of Colorado
  • Chicana Poet
    University of Colorado
  • Director of Creative Writing
    Colorado University-Boulder
  • Professor of English
    Colorado University-Boulder
  • Teacher
    University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Associate Professor
    University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Director of Creative Writing
    University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Co-Editor
    Red Dirt

Education

  • bachelor's degree , fine arts
    California State University , Los Angeles
160 Total References
Web References
LATINOPIA BOOK REVIEW | latinopia.com
latinopia.com, 1 Aug 2013 [cached]
Other Latinas whose books have been reviewed here-Nicholasa Mohr, Estela Portillo, Lorna Dee Cervantes, and Cherrié Moraga-beat Cisneros to those accomplishments.
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LATINOPIA BOOK REVIEW 'EMPLUMADA" By Lorna Dee Cervantes
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by Lorna Dee Cervantes
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Lorna Dee Cervantes (b. 1954) is a California native of Mexican-American and Native-American heritage. Her impact on Chicana poetry prior to and since the publication of her iconic, American Book Award-winning collection of poems, Emplumada (1981), has been tremendous. Her fellow Latino poet, Alurista, once referred to her as "probably the best Chicana poet active today," and others consider her to be one of the pre-eminent Chicana poets of the past four decades. During the Clinton presidency, Cervantes was invited to a special White House event honoring the top 100 poets in the United States at that time.
Her path to fame began with the Chicano activism and literary movement of the 1970's. In 1974, she began reading her poetry publicly and now counts over 500 readings, poetic performances, and lectures in venues including the top universities in America: Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Brown, Vassar, and Cornell. Besides the American Book Award in 1982, Cervantes has won over 20 notable prizes, fellowships, and other honors, such as the Latino Book Award, Latin American Book Award, Patterson Prize for Poetry, and two Pushcart Prizes. Cervantes is a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley.
As an academic for most of her career, Cervantes continues to exert a major influence on American Latina poetry, despite authoring only three poetry collections besides Emplumada. These are: From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger (1991); DRIVE: The First Quartet (2006); and Ciento: 100 100-Word Love Poems (2011). She founded the literary review Mango in the 1970's and was co-editor of the multicultural poetry journal Red Dirt. Her poems have been anthologized since the 1990's and have attracted wide critical study since the 1980's.
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Cervantes occasionally spices her 39 poems with Spanish words and phrases that resonate with her Hispanic readers yet do not detract from the universality of her clear-eyed observations.
Her poetry makes us weep in recognition. Or weep for the deep slashes to humanity that she lays bare in her unvarnished way, capturing the pain we often inflict on one another in unconscious or purposeful ways. Her book begins with one of the more powerful poems, "Uncle's First Rabbit," a compressed retelling of 50 years of misery. At the age of 10, Uncle is forced by his drunken, violent father to shoot, then bash to death, an innocent rabbit. The rabbit's dying cries remind the child of the night his father kicked his pregnant mother till her aborted baby died, his tiny sister's cries like the rabbit's. Throughout his military years and his own marriage, the Uncle is haunted by his father's abuse, and he can't escape the "bastard's...bloodline" within himself, a man tormented by demons who one night "awaken[s] to find himself slugging the bloodied face of his [own] wife. The Uncle's humanity gasps its last breath as he watches his dying wife in bed and thinks: "Die, you bitch. I'll live to watch you die."
Lorna Dee Cervantes
The theme of abuse runs like an unavoidable snake through several of Cervantes' poems. In "Meeting Mescalito at Oak Hill Cemetery," a 16-year-old girl "crooked with drug" momentarily escapes her family life by drinking alone in a cemetery but then, at home, "lock[s] my bedroom door against the stepfather.
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Cervantes also celebrates love, often by weaving this with nature, with the natural rhythms of existence that are often overlooked in harried lives. For her, nature is a balm that opens eyes and rekindles the spirit. In "Beneath the Shadow of the Freeway," the speaker describes her partner thus: "Every night I sleep with a gentle man to the hymn of mockingbirds, and in time, I plant geraniums.
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Cervantes is, in the end, a poet who prefers to see the proverbial glass half-full but whose life experience has shown her the half-empty part in sharp focus. In perhaps the most autobiographical piece in the book-"Poem for the Young White Man Who Asked Me How I, an Intelligent, Well-Read Person, Could Believe in the War Between Races"-she explains clearly how conflict indeed exists: "I'm marked by the color of my skin.
Gale - Free Resources - Women's History - Biographies - Lorna Dee Cervantes
www.informationaccess.com, 15 Aug 2011 [cached]
Lorna Dee Cervantes Gale - Free Resources - Women's History - Biographies - Lorna Dee Cervantes Gale Cart Wish List Sign In My Account
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Lorna Dee Cervantes
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In the 1970s Lorna Dee Cervantes became part of the new Chicano movement, which at the time was largely male. Interested in the conundrums of race and race relations--in part because her heritage was both Native American and Mexican--Cervantes became a publisher. In the mid-1970s she founded Mango Publications, a small press designed to publish the work of Chicano and Chicana writers. One outlet for this work was the little magazineMango. Receiving grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, she maintained her publications projects while she polished the craft of writing poetry. By the timeEmplumada,her first collection, appeared in 1981, she was widely published in little and Chicano magazines. When her collection won the 1982 American Book award, she was guaranteed prominence in the increasingly multicultural U.S. arts scene.
After Cervantes graduated from San Jose State University in 1984, she studied for four years as a graduate student in the history of consciousness program at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Itself a unique contribution to the interdisciplinary movement, this graduate program allowed students to combine specializations in the study of history, culture, literature, art, and politics. It led Cervantes into a number of avenues for her work, including the editing ofRed Dirt,a magazine of multicultural literature, and teaching creative writing at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Often anthologized, the poems of Cervantes make an explicit statement about race and sexuality.
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Many of the themes from her first book reappear, but the new density of the metaphoric texture shows that Cervantes is no longer interested in creating too direct, or too simple, a commentary. Whereas several of theEmplumadapoems-"Beneath the Shadow of the Freeway" and "Poem for the Young White Man Who Asked Me How I, an Intelligent, Well-Read Person Could Believe in the War between Races"--set the tone for the keen expression of the Chicano movement, her later poetry focuses more intently on male-female relationships. Sexuality and its various powers seem to have usurped the battlefield of racial conflict. In "Beneath the Shadow of the Freeway" Cervantes had prefigured her later themes. Here the "soft" woman laments the loss of her lover, even as her magnificently eloquent mother tells her to live for herself. The poem pictures the matriarchs of the family, stanza by stanza, voicing their wisdom to the young protagonist. It is the grandmother who "trusts only what she builds / with her own hands. But she also has lived too many years with a man who has been waiting to kill her. Untold, but insistently paralleled, the concluding chapter of the protagonist's life haunts the reader. Playing against the stereotype of women's need to learn from their female ancestors in order to find wisdom, Cervantes creates a tapestry of affirmation and denial that shows the complex negotiations necessary for women within a culture on the other side of American prosperity.
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"Lorna Dee Cervantes's Dialogic Imagination," inAnnales du Centre de Recherches sur l'Amerique Anglophone(Cedex, France), 18, 1993 , and "Bilingualism and Dialogism: Another Reading of Lorna Dee Cervantes's Poetry," in An Other Tongue: Nation and Ethnicity in the Linguistic Borderlands,edited by Alfred Arteaga, Durham, North Carolina, Duke University Press, 1994 , both by Ada Savin
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"Divided Loyalties: Literal and Literary in the Poetry of Lorna Dee Cervantes, Cathy Song and Rita Dove" by Patricia Wallace, inMELUS(Amherst, Massachusetts),18(3), fall 1993
Poetry Foundation Announces Spring 2008 Literary Series : The Poetry Foundation
www.poetryfoundation.org, 1 April 2008 [cached]
Poetry Off the Shelf: Lorna Dee Cervantes and Rigoberto González
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Lorna Dee Cervantes was born in San Francisco of Mexican and Native American descent. Her first book, Emplumada, won the American Book Award in 1982. Her most recent book, Drive: The First Quartet, appeared from Wings Press in 2006. She is founder and editor-in-chief of Mango Publications, which publishes Mango, a literary review of works by Chicano writers, as well as the literary magazine Red Dirt. She lives in Boulder, where she teaches creative writing at the University of Colorado.
POEMS BY LORNA DEE ...
poetryfoundation.org [cached]
POEMS BY LORNA DEE CERVANTES
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Poetry Off the Shelf: Lorna Dee Cervantes and Rigoberto González
...
Lorna Dee Cervantes was born in San Francisco of Mexican and Native American descent.Her first book, Emplumada, won the American Book Award in 1982.Her most recent book, Drive: The First Quartet, appeared from Wings Press in 2006.She is founder and editor in chief of Mango Publications, which publishes Mango, a literary review of works by Chicano writers, as well as the literary magazine Red Dirt.She lives in Boulder, where she teaches creative writing at the University of Colorado.
with Poet Lorna Dee ...
calpolynews.calpoly.edu, 23 Oct 2012 [cached]
with Poet Lorna Dee Cervantes
SAN LUIS OBISPO - The Cal Poly MultiCultural Center's "Another Type of Groove: Spoken Word Poetry" will celebrate Native American Heritage Month with internationally acclaimed poet Lorna Dee Cervantes at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, in Chumash Auditorium.
A California native (Chicana-Chumash), born in The Mission in San Francisco, Cervantes is a former director of creative writing at Colorado University-Boulder, where she was a professor of English for 19 years. She is now a UC Regents Lecturer at Berkeley and she writes fiction, essays, poetry and screenplays.
Cervantes is the recipient of numerous awards, honors and fellowships, including two National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Fellowship Grants and the Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Writers Award. She wrote the Pulitzer Prize-nominated, five-volume "Drive: The First Quartet (2006)" and the forthcoming "Sueño: 30-Something of the Cruelest."
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