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Thursday, April 27

7 PM, Griffin Gate (Bldg. 60)


student writing competition winners 

2017 LAF Writing Contest flier pdf

The Writing Project inspires students from the English Department’s Pre-Transfer Writing Program to compose creative works in response to a prompt collaboratively designed by composition and creative writing instructors. The prompt asks students to work directly with an excerpt from one of the works of Luis Alberto Urrea. The finalists’ essays will be collected in a publication, and the winning work will be read and receive recognition from Urrea this evening.  For more info, click the icon at left to download the flier, or contact Alan Traylor at



author Luis Alberto Urrea

reading & book signing

Hailed by NPR as a "literary badass" and a "master storyteller with a rock-and-roll heart," Luis Alberto Urrea is a prolific and internationally celebrated writer who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph.

A 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, Urrea is the critically acclaimed and best-selling author of sixteen books, winning numerous awards for his poetry, fiction and essays. Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and American mother, Urrea is most recognized as a border writer, though, he says, "I am more interested in bridges, not borders."  

Urrea earned an undergraduate degree in writing from the University of California at San Diego, and did his graduate studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder. After serving as a relief worker in Tijuana and a film extra and columnist-editor-cartoonist for several publications, Urrea moved to Boston, where he taught expository writing and fiction workshops at Harvard. He also taught at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Urrea lives with his family in Naperville, IL, where he is a distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.  

WACC logoThis event is funded in part by a generous grant from the World Arts and Cultures Committee of Grossmont College.



Books by Luis Alberto Urrea

Across the Wire: Life and Hard Times on the Mexican Border. Anchor, 1993. Across the Wire By the Lake of Sleeping Children By the Lake of Sleeping Children: The Secret Life of the Mexican Border. Anchor, 1996.
The Devil's Highway: A True Story. Back Bay Books, 2005. Devil's Highway The Fever of Dreaming The Fever of Being. West End Press, 1994.
Ghost Sickness: A Book of Poems. Cinco Puntos Press, 1997. Ghost Sickness The Hummingbird's Daughter (alternative cover) The Hummingbird's Daughter. Back Bay Books, 2006.
In Search of Snow. University of Arizona Press, 1999. In Search of Snow Into the Beautiful North Into the Beautiful North: A Novel. Back Bay Books, 2010.
Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush. Cinco Puntos Press, 2010. Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush Nobody's Son Nobody's Son: Notes from an American Life. University of Arizona Press, 2002.
Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush. Cinco Puntos Press, 2010.  Queen of America Six Kinds of Sky Six Kinds of Sky: A Collection of Short Fiction. Cinco Puntos Press, 2002.
Tijuana Book of the Dead. Soft Skull Press, 2015. Tijuana Book of the Dead Vatos Vatos.  Photograph by Jose Galvez. Cinco Puntos Press, 2000.
Wandering Time: Western Notebooks. University of Arizona Press, 2015. Wandering Time The Water Museum The Water Museum: Stories. Back Bay Books, 2016.


Other Works


David Taylor: Working the Line. Radius Books, 2010. (biography)

Imagine: Fiction. Imagine Publishers, 1985. (anthology)

Jahrbuch Internationale Politik 2003-2004. Oldenbourg Wissensch, 2006. (anthology)

La hija de la esperanza. Martinez Roca, 2007. (Spanish language)

"Life Is An Act Of Literary Creation."  This I Believe. KPBS Radio (NPR) 23 April 2009. [audio / essay]

Lone Star Noir (Akashic Noir).  Akashic Books, 2010. (anthology)

Maize: Notebooks Of Xicano Art And Literature. Centro Cultural De La Raza, 1979. (anthology)

Many Mountains Moving: A Literary Journal of Diverse Contemporary Voices. Burning Issues. Many Mountains Moving, Inc., 1995. (guest editor)

Underground America: Narratives of Undocumented Lives (Voice of Witness). McSweeney's, 2008. (guest editor)


Selected On-line Interviews and Reviews

"Author Luis Alberto Urrea." Insight With Beth Ruyak. 23 May 2016. Capital Public Radio. On-line.

Cleland, Lance. "Hymns to the Broken: A Manifesto, with Luis Alberto Urrea." The Open Bar (Blog). Tin House 31 August 2016. [audio]

Hong, Terry. "An Interview With Luis Alberto Urrea." Bookslut December 2011. 

Olivas, Daniel. "Three Questions for Luis Alberto Urrea Regarding his New Poetry Collection, 'The Tijuana Book of the Dead.'" Interview. Los Angels Review of Books 10 August 2015.

Rau, Mythili G. "The Most Dangerous Girl in Mexico Goes to America." Review of Queen Of AmericaSunday Book Review 23 December 2011.

Reed, Joe. "Luis Alberto Urrea." Interview. National Endowment For the Arts. [audio w/transcript]

"Talking with Furniture: Luis Alberto Urrea." Interview. Used Furniture Review 21 November 2010. 


On-line Resources


Official website:


Poetry Foundation: 

Tuesday Agency (publicist and agent): 



Last Updated: 03/24/2017
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