Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Luis Rodriguez speaks @ CSUMB, El Sausal Middle School this week.

Author Luis Rodríguez will speak twice this week in Monterey County, leading a discussion at CSUMB's University Ballroom from 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, then visiting El Sausal Middle School in Salinas on Thursday. Below is the official press release from CSUMB:

Luis Rodríguez

“Art is the heart's explosion on the world. There is probably no more powerful force for change in this uncertain and crisis-ridden world than young people and their art. It is the consciousness of the world breaking away from the strangle grip of an archaic social order.”

Nov. 4, 2009, 7:00-8:30pm

CSUMB University Center Ballroom


November 5, 2009, 7:00-8:30pm

El Sausal Middle School Gymnasium

Through education and the power of words, Luis Rodríguez saw his own way out of poverty and despair in the barrio of East LA and successfully broke free from the years of violence and desperation he spent as an active gang member. Achieving success as an award-winning Chicano poet, he was sure the streets would haunt him no more — until his young son joined a gang himself. Rodriguez fought for his child by telling his own story in the bestseller Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A., a vivid memoir that explores the motivation of gang life and cautions against the death and destruction that inevitably claim its participants. Always Running earned a Carl Sandburg Literary Award and was designated a New York Times Notable Book; it has also been named by the American Library Association as one of the nation’s 100 most censored books. (more after the jump).

Luis Rodríguez is an accomplished poet and is the author of several collections of poetry, including My Nature is Hunger: New and Selected Poems 1989-2004. He also writes books for children (America Is Her Name and It Doesn't Have To Be This Way: A Barrio Story). As well he authored Hearts and Hands: Creating Community in Violent Times and a novel, Music of the Mill.

Rodríguez is also known for helping start a number of prominent organizations — such as Chicago’s Guild Complex, one of the largest literary arts organizations in the Midwest; Rock a Mole (rhymes with guacamole) Productions, which produces music and art festivals, CDs and film; and Youth Struggling for Survival, a Chicago-based non-profit community group working with gang and non-gang youth. In addition, he is one of the founders of the small poetry publishing house Tia Chucha Press, as well as Tia Chucha's Café & Centro Cultural—a bookstore, coffee shop, art gallery, performance space, and workshop center in Los Angeles.

This event is sponsored by the Service Learning Institute, CSU Monterey Bay, with generous support from the Surdna Foundation. To request accommodations for a disability, please contact Student Disability Resources (Bldg. 47) at 831.582.3672 or Deborah Burke at 831.582.361 before Oct. 28,

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