UC Santa Cruz brings Chicana author Sandra Cisneros to Mello Center on April 30

Acclaimed Chicana author Sandra Cisneros, whose book The House on Mango Street is required reading in classrooms across the country, will give a public reading at 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 30, at the Mello Center for the Performing Arts in Watsonville.

Cisneros will be accepting the first annual Gloria E. Anzaldúa Distinguished Lecture Award, presented by the Chicana/o Latina/o Research Center (CLRC) at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Tickets are available through the UCSC Ticket Office at (831) 459-2159 http://events.ucsc.edu/tickets. General admission ranges from $20-$45 per ticket; admission for students and seniors ranges from $15-$35. In addition, premium seats will be available for $100 per ticket. The event is a fundraiser that benefits UCSC's Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program, which pairs students with faculty mentors who provide input, guidance, and encouragement as they open the "pipeline" to higher education for young Latinos.

Cisneros, recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Award, is the author of two acclaimed novels, three books of poetry, a collection of short stories, and a children's book. Her most recent novel Caramelo, was named a notable book of the year by the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle, among others. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.

The Gloria E. Anzaldúa Distinguished Lecture Award honors the work of one of the first openly lesbian Chicana writers. A Santa Cruz resident, Anzaldúa published essays, poetry, short stories, interviews, anthologies and children's books and was considered a bold feminist thinker and social activist before her death in 2004. She wrote the landmark Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, which was named one of the 100 Best Books of the Century by Hungry Mind Review and Utne Reader. Anzaldúa was awarded a posthumous Ph.D. in literature from UCSC.

"Sandra Cisneros embodies the spirit of creativity, struggle, and intellectual honesty that shaped Gloria's work and life," said CLRC director Aida Hurtado, a professor of psychology at UCSC.

"Cisneros' work, like Gloria's, has transformed the way the world understands what it means to be Chicana," said Marcia Ochoa, assistant professor of community studies and a member of the event organizing committee.

The event is being sponsored by three Chicano/Latino organizations at UCSC: the CLRC, El Centro, and the Latino Alumni Network.