Spilling the Beans in Chicanolandia: Conversations with Writers and Artists

By Frederick Luis Aldama | Go to book overview

Cherríe Moraga

Cherríe Moraga was born in Whittier, California, in 1952. She grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, learning from an early age to negotiate her bicultural experiences and biracial identity. Although her Anglo (British/Irish/French) father was present when she was growing up, it was her Chicana mother’s family— especially her fiercely feminist grandmother from Sonora, Mexico—who mostly raised Moraga.

From an early age, Moraga was drawn to literature and creative writing. However, with few job options available that would provide her the time to write, Moraga decided to become a schoolteacher. After completing her B.A. at Immaculate Heart College in Hollywood in 1974, she discovered quickly that teaching high school English was not for her; it simply didn’t give her enough time to develop her poetic voice. After her first out lesbian poetry appeared to a receptive audience in 1975, she decided that she might be able to make a living as a writer. She knew, however, that she would need more formal training, so she enrolled in the creative writing M.A. track at San Francisco State University. This step proved the beginning of an intensely productive—and experimental—period for Moraga; it was also the period when she discovered her passion for drama. To further her goal to become a playwright and poet, she moved to New York City, where in 1981 she co-founded the Kitchen Table/ Women of Color Press. Kitchen Table provided Moraga and other women of color a much-needed venue for their creative voices to be heard. (They published, for example, the trailblazing Cuentos: Stories by Latinas, which brought together the stories of Nuyorican, Cuban, and Chicana writers living in the United States.) During this period

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Spilling the Beans in Chicanolandia: Conversations with Writers and Artists
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introducing a Second Wave of Chicano/a Visual/Verbal Artists 1
  • Francisco X. Alarcón 37
  • Alfred Arteaga 53
  • Ricardo Bracho 69
  • Denise Chávez 79
  • Lucha Corpi 95
  • Dagoberto Gilb 107
  • Jaime Hernandez (of Los Bros Hernandez) 119
  • Juan Felipe Herrera 129
  • Richard Montoya (of Culture Clash) 143
  • Pat Mora 153
  • Cherríe Moraga 167
  • Alejandro Morales 177
  • Michael Nava 187
  • Daniel Olivas 199
  • Cecile Pineda 215
  • Lourdes Portillo 227
  • Luis J. Rodríguez 235
  • Benjamin Alire Sáenz 251
  • Luis Alberto Urrea 261
  • Alfredo Véa Jr 277
  • Alma Luz Villanueva 287
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