Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Luis J. Rodriguez  

Pen Name: None


Born: July 9, 1954 in El Paso, Texas


Illinois Connection

Rodriguez moved to Chicago in 1985 and lived there until 2000.

Biographical and Professional Information

Luis Rodriguez is a poet, lecturer, and journalist. He has published articles, reviews and poetry in numerous journals and newspapers. His work has won several awards, and he is recognized as a major figure of contemporary Chicano literature. His best-known work, ''Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.'', is the recipient of the Carl Sandburg Literary Award, among others, and has been the subject of controversy when included on reading lists in California, Illinois, Michigan, and Texas schools due to its frank depictions of gang life. Rodriguez has also founded or co-founded numerous organizations, including the Tía Chucha Press, which publishes the work of unknown writers, Tía Chucha's Centro Cultural, a San Fernando Valley cultural center, and the Chicago-based Youth Struggling for Survival, an organization for at-risk youth.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library


-- ''Always Running, La Vida Loca, The Gang Days in L.A.'' *Carl Sandburg Literary Award, 1993 *Chicago Sun Times Book Award, 1993 '''Other Awards