Press Releases 2008
CONTACT: Jana Marcus, Marketing & Communications
Cabrillo College Hosts Award-Winning Writer Jimmy Santiago Baca
Aptos, CA— The Cabrillo College Organization of Latin Americans (OLA) and the ASCC Student Senate are proud to host award-winning poet and novelist Jimmy Santiago Baca on Friday, May 16 for an afternoon lecture at the Cabrillo Theater, followed by a poetry workshop at Student Activities Center East.
Baca is the author of twelve books of poetry, two novels and a screenplay for Disney Production/Hollywood Pictures. He is the winner of the Pushcart Prize, the American Book Award, the International Hispanic Heritage Award and the prestigious International Award for his memoir A Place to Stand. In 2006 he won the Cornelius P. Turner Award, a national award that recognizes one GED graduate a year who has made outstanding contributions to society in education, justice, health, public service and social welfare.
Baca’s road to success has been a difficult journey. He will share his life experiences from orphan to criminal to award-winning author in an inspirational lecture in the Cabrillo Theater followed by a workshop on writing and critiquing poetry.
Born in New Mexico of Indio-Mexican descent, Baca was first raised by his grandmother and later sent to an orphanage. A runaway at age 13, it was after Baca was sentenced to five years in a maximum security prison that he began to turn his life around: he learned to read and write and unearthed a voracious passion for poetry. During a fateful conflict with another inmate, Jimmy was shaken by the voices of poets Neruda and Lorca, and made a choice that would alter his destiny.
Instead of becoming a hardened criminal, he emerged from prison a writer. Baca had sent three of his poems to the poetry editor of the magazine Mother Jones. The poems were published and became part of Immigrants in Our Own Land, published in 1979, the year he was released from prison. He went on to earn his GED and attend college and graduate school.
Baca has devoted his post-prison life to writing and teaching others who are overcoming hardships. His themes include American Southwest barrios, addiction, injustice, education, community, love and beyond. He has conducted hundreds of writing workshops in prisons, community centers, libraries, and universities throughout the country.
In 2005 he created Cedar Tree Inc., a nonprofit foundation that works to give people of all walks of life the opportunity to become educated and improve their lives. Cedar Tree provides free instruction, books, writing material and scholarships. Cedar Tree has an ongoing writing workshop in the Albuquerque Women’s Prison and at the South Valley Community Center.
What: Poet Jimmy Santiago Baca
When/Where: Friday May 16, 2008
1:30 PM Lecture and Poetry Reading in the Cabrillo Theater
3:30 PM Poetry Workshop (open to first 40 students attending lecture) in SAC East, room 225
Information: firstname.lastname@example.org or 831-840-3346
About Cabrillo College
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|Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA 95003, phone: 831-479-6100|