March 25, 2010
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Speakers series features award-winning writer, poet Sandra Cisneros
Sandra Cisneros, author of "The House on Mango Street," speaks on campus April 7. Photo by Al Rendon.
The English Department at Metropolitan State College of Denver has announced Sandra Cisneros as the speaker for its second annual "21st Century Arts & Letters Speakers Series." The event, free and open to the public, will be held on Weds., April 7, at 11:30 a.m. in the Tivoli Turnhalle.
Cisneros will read from her recent and past work, be available for a question-and-answer session, and sign her books.
The internationally renowned, award-winning poet and fiction writer has written numerous books, including The House on Mango Street, first published in 1984. It won the Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award in 1985, and is required reading in middle schools, high schools and universities across the country. It has sold more than two million copies since its initial publication.
“We are thrilled to have Sandra Cisneros speaking on our campus, and we expect a wonderful turnout and response from our students, faculty staff, and from fans of Cisneros' works from off-campus,” says Assistant Professor of English Craig Svonkin, who also chairs the Speakers Series’ committee. “We didn't think we would be able to arrange her visit, but luckily, she was already scheduled to come for the Association of Writers and Writing Program conference being held in Denver for that week, and so everything worked out.”
Cisneros’ reputation certainly precedes her. She has received many prestigious awards, including honorary doctorates, throughout her writing career. In 1995, she was awarded the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and she subsequently organized the Latino MacArthur Fellows - Los MacArturos - into a reunion focusing on community outreach.
Many Denverites read Cisneros’ work when her book Caramelo was chosen as the second-ever One Book, One Denver selection.
This year’s Arts and Letters Speakers series builds on the success of last year’s speaker, National Book Award winning poet Mark Doty. Doty attracted more than 300 people from on- and off-campus between two talks, says Svonkin. “So, as a follow up to that amazing event, we talked about who would be a big name and would really excite our students. The name at the top of our committee's list was Sandra Cisneros.”
Svonkin says Cisneros’ talk has created a buzz off campus as well. “I've already heard from many high school teachers who are trying to arrange to bring their students to the event.”
Campus co-sponsors of the event include the Office of Student Activities, the Office of the Provost, Urban Teacher Partnership and the Auraria Library Development Board.
For more information about Sandra Cisneros, visit http://sandracisneros.com/.