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SP Presents: Luis J. Rodriguez, Reading + Q&A
May 8, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Join us for the next feature in our reading series SP Presents: Award-winning author and poet Luis Rodriguez, Friday 6 pm on Instagram Live
Luis is best known for the 1993 memoir of gang life, “Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.” (paperback by Touchstone Books/Simon & Schuster). Now selling more than 400,000 copies, this book garnered a Carl Sandburg Literary Award, a Chicago Sun-Times Book Award, and was designated a New York Times Notable Book. It became a stage play by the Cornerstone Theater Company showing at the Mark Taper Auditorium in the L.A. Public Library from 2003-2005 to 6,000 high school students, and at the Ivar Theater in Hollywood for a limited six-day run in 2005. Written as a cautionary tale for Luis’ then 15-year-old son Ramiro—who had joined a Chicago gang—the memoir is popular among youth and teachers. One Los Angeles Public Library official said “Always Running” is the most checked out book in their vast library system—and also the most “stolen.” Despite its popularity, the American Library Association called “Always Running” one of the 100 most censored books in the United States.
Luis J. Rodriguez has emerged as one of the leading Chicano writers in the country with fifteen published books in memoir, fiction, nonfiction, children’s literature, and poetry. Luis’ poetry has won a Poetry Center Book Award, a PEN Josephine Miles Literary Award, and a Paterson Poetry Book Prize, among others. His children’s books—“America is Her Name” and “It Doesn’t Have to be This Way: A Barrio Story”—have won a Patterson Young Adult Book Award, two Skipping Stones Honor Awards, and a Parent’s Choice Book Award. A short story collection, “The Republic of East L.A.,” and a novel, “Music of the Mill,” came out in 2001 and 2005, both from Rayo Books/Harper Collins. A poetry collection, “My Nature is Hunger: New & Selected Poems” appeared in 2005 from Curbstone Press/Rattle Edition (other poetry books have also been published by Curbstone Press and Tia Chucha Press). Limited-edition hand-made art books and broadsides of Luis’ poems have also been made by C & C Press of Pajaro, CA for sale to collectors, universities, libraries, and other institutions, including “Seven,” “Two Women/Dos Mujeres,” “Perhaps,” and “Making Medicine.”