Tomás Rivera Conference to Feature Writer Sandra Cisneros

The UC Riverside event on April 25 also celebrates the 40th anniversary of Chicano Student Programs.

Portion of flier with photo of Sandra Cisneros

The annual Tomás Rivera Conference at UC Riverside presents Sandra Cisneros on Apil 25.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Poet and novelist Sandra Cisneros will be the featured speaker at the annual Tomás Rivera Conference, which this year also celebrates the 40th anniversary of Chicano Student Programs at UC Riverside. Cisneros will speak at 7 p.m. April 25 in HUB 302.

The announcement of the Inlandia Institute’s second Literary Laureate, a panel of writers discussing Chicano/Latino literature, and a book-signing will follow Cisneros’s presentation. The event, “An Evening with Sandra Cisneros Siete Noches/Seven Nights,” is free and open to the public. Parking is $5. Reservations are requested and may be made by calling Chicano Student Programs at (951) 827-3821.

The presentation by Cisneros will be “an unprecedented gift of culture for all of our students, Inlandia high school and college communities, and the public at large — big poems, deep stories and family celebrations of unity in these most unpredictable and changing times,” said Juan Felipe Herrera, the newly appointed California Poet Laureate, holder of the Tomás Rivera Endowed Chair in Creative Writing at UCR, and the conference organizer. “Our beloved and late pioneering poet and UC Riverside Chancellor Tomás Rivera would be filled with joy and happiness. Let us partake in this new light.”

The annual conference honors the legacy of Rivera, who was UCR’s chancellor from 1979 until his death after a heart attack in 1984. Rivera was the first Hispanic and first minority chancellor in the UC system.  He also was an award-winning writer of poems, short stories and literary essays.

Cisneros is the other of a chapbook of poetry, “Bad Boys”; two full-length poetry books, “My Wicked Wicked Ways” and “Loose Woman,” winner of the Mountains & Plains Booksellers’ Award; a collection of stories, “Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories,” winner of the Lannan Foundation Literary Award, PEN Center West Award for Best Fiction of 1991 and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award; a children’s book, “Hairs/Pelitos”; and two novels, “The House on Mango Street,” which won the Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award in 1985, and “Caramelo,” which won the Premio Napoli award in 2005 and was short-listed for the Dublin International IMPAC Award; and a compilation of selections from her works, “Vintage Cisneros” (Knopf, 2003). Her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages.

In 1995 Cisneros received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and organized the Latino MacArthur Fellows, focusing on community outreach. She is the 2003 recipient of the Texas Medal of the Arts, and has won two National Endowment of the Arts fellowships for fiction and poetry; the Chicano Short Story Award from the University of Arizona; the Texas Institute of Letters Dobie-Paisano Fellowship; and an Illinois Artists Grant.

She is the president and founder of the Macondo Foundation, an association of socially engaged writers who work to advance creativity, foster generosity and honor their communities; and of the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation, which awards grants to Texas writers. She is writer-in-residence at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Tomás Rivera Committee, Chicano Student Programs, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, the Departments of Women’s Studies and English, the Women’s Resource Center, UCR Diversity Initiatives, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, M.E.Ch.A. de UCR (Chicana Space), UCR’s Tomás Rivera Library and the Inlandia Institute.

For more information contact Chicano Student Programs at (951) 827-3821 or

Media Contact

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Additional Contacts

Chicano Student Programs
Tel: (951) 827-3821

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