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Luis J. Rodriguez

Born: July 9, 1954 in El Paso, Texas
Pen Name: None

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

Biography: 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 Ta Chucha Press, which publishes the work of unknown writers, Ta Chucha's Centro Cultural, a San Fernando Valley cultural center, and the Chicago-based Youth Struggling for Survival, an organization for at-risk youth.


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

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers; Children; Young adult readers

Email: luis@luisjrodriguez.com
Website: http://www.luisjrodriguez.com
Luis J. Rodriguez on WorldCat : http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=luis+j.+rodriguez


Selected Titles

  Always running :
ISBN: 9781611204216 OCLC: 752414429

Playaway Digital Audio : [Solon, Ohio] : [2012], ℗2011.

A former L.A. gang member describes his experiences in that world, recounting the sense of security and power found in a gang and the grim reality of violence and poverty.

Always running :
ISBN: 0743276914 OCLC: 61822071

A former L.A. gang member describes his experiences in that world, recounting the sense of security and power found in a gang and the grim reality of violence and poverty. By age twelve, the author was a veteran of East L.A. gang warfare. Lured by a seemingly invincible gang culture, he witnessed countless shootings, beatings, and arrests, then watched with increasing fear as drugs, murder, suicide, and senseless acts of street crime claimed friends and family members. Before long he saw a way out of the barrio through education and the power of words, and successfully broke free from years of violence and desperation. 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. He fought for his child by telling his own story in this memoir that explores the motivations of gang life and cautions against the death and destruction that inevitably claim its participants. At times heartbreakingly sad and brutal, it is ultimately an uplifting true story, filled with hope, insight, and a hard-earned lesson for the next generation.

América is her name /
ISBN: 1880684403 OCLC: 34705053

Curbstone Press, Willimantic, CT : ©1998.

A Mixteca Indian from Oaxaca, América Soliz, suffers from the poverty and hopelessness of her Chicago ghetto, made more endurable by a desire and determination to be a poet.

Hearts & hands :
ISBN: 9781609805531 OCLC: 856977534

Rodríguez's life was once held in the grip of gang brotherhood and rivalries. Here he patiently traces the emotional and spiritual terrain that ultimately allowed him to understand his milieu and skillfully negotiate a sound future for himself and his family. Empowered by his experiences as a peacemaker with gangs in Los Angeles and Chicago, Rodríguez makes concrete suggestions on how to approach the violence facing youth today. He warns that we sacrifice community values for material gain when we incarcerate or marginalize people already on the edge of society. He approaches the issues from a grassroots perspective, influenced by the writings of Joseph Campbell, Mircea Eliade, and Lao Tzu. In these pages he forges a powerful, insightful, and healing response to the troubles of our times.--From publisher description.

  It doesn't have to be this way :
ISBN: 9780516216980 OCLC: 733816909

Reluctantly a young boy becomes more and more involved in the activities of a local gang, until a tragic event involved his cousin forces him to make a choice about the course of his life.

It doesn't have to be this way :
ISBN: 0892392037 OCLC: 40674770

Children's Book Press, San Francisco, Calif. : ©1999.

Reluctantly a young boy becomes more and more involved in the activities of a local gang, until a tragic event involving his cousin forces him to make a choice about the course of his life.

Music of the mill :
ISBN: 0060560770 OCLC: 66530307

Rayo, New York, NY : 2006, ©2005.

"As the World War II cultural and industrial boom birthed a new California, a mighty steel industry rose with the potential to make modest dreams real for the workers willing to risk their lives in the mill's ferocious heat. For the Salcidos, the Nazareth mill became an engine for survival"--Page 4 of cover.

My nature is hunger :
ISBN: 9781453259108 OCLC: 807663464

Open Road Integrated Media, New York : 2012.

Features previously published poems as well as new works.

My nature is hunger :
ISBN: 1931896240 OCLC: 60742051

Curbstone Press/Rattle Edition, Willimantic, CT : 2005.

"My Nature Is Hunger is the first poetry collection in five years by the major award-winning Latino author, Luis Rodriguez. It includes selections from his previous books, Poems Across the Pavement, The Concrete River, and Trochemoche, and 26 new poems that reflect his increasingly global view, his hard-won spirituality, and his movement toward reconciliation with his family and his past."--Jacket.

Poems across the pavement
ISBN: 1882688481 OCLC: 871319861

Poems across the pavement /
ISBN: 0962428701 OCLC: 21157490

Tía Chucha Press, Chicago : ©1989.

The concrete river /
ISBN: 0915306425 OCLC: 24011400

Curbstone Press ; Willimantic, CT : 1991.

Presents a collection of poems with such themes as homelessness, unemployment, and the struggle of the working class.

The Latino/a condition :
ISBN: 0814718949 OCLC: 38521475

New York University Press, New York : 1998.

The Republic of East L.A. :
ISBN: 006093686X OCLC: 48383393

Rayo, New York : ©2002.

Captures the heart and soul of East L.A. in a collection of stories about the working-class people who inhabit this run-down, colorful section of America's second largest city.

Trochemoche :
ISBN: 9781453259115 OCLC: 807714463

Open Road Integrated Media, New York : 2012.

Title means helter-skelter in Spanish, and this book expresses the turmoil of the barrio and the various themes that drive Luis J. Rodriguez's poetry. Drawing on more than ten years of poems, Rodriguez writes powerfully and passionately about urban youth, family, and the plight of neglected communities, while exploring the rich cultural roots of his Chicano ancestry.

 

 

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