Sandra Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist, and essayist whose work explores the lives of the working-class. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, the Texas Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur Fellowship, the PEN/Nabokov Award for International Literature and the National Medal of the Arts, awarded to her by President Obama in 2016. Her novel The House on Mango Street has sold over six million copies, has been translated into over twenty languages, and is required reading in elementary, high school, and universities across the nation. A new book, Martita, I Remember You/Martita, te recuerdo, a story in English and in Spanish, will be published in 2021. Cisneros is a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico and earns her living by her pen.
Maria Acosta Cruz was raised in Cabo rojo, Puerto Rico, received a B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, and a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She teaches all levels of Spanish Language and literature. Her main research and teaching interests are Caribbean and Latino cultures. She explores issues such as the making and marketability of identities, Puerto Rican cultural history, and national and gender-based stereotypes. Her book Dream Nation: Puerto Rican Culture & the Fictions of Independence is also part of the American Literatures Initiative from NYU, Fordham, Temple and Virginia University Presses. She has been at Clark since 1986 and is affiliated with the programs in Women’s and Gender Studies and Race and Ethnic Relations.