Palabras del Pueblo
When Writing and the World Meet
with Luis J. Rodriguez
Luis is also a novelist/memoirist/short story writer/children's book writer/essayist as well as a community & urban peace activist, mentor, healer, youth & arts advocate, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
He has 16 books in all genres (poetry, children's books, fiction, and nonfiction), including the best-selling memoir, "Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A." His latest memoir is the sequel, "It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing." His last poetry book is 2016's "Borrowed Bones" from Curbstone Books/Northwestern University Press. In 2020, Seven Stories Press released his first book of essays, "From Our Land to Our Land: Essays, Journeys & Imaginings from a Native Xicanx Writer."
Among his many awards and fellowships, in 2022 Luis was given a California Arts Council Legacy Fellowship and a Los Angeles Times' Robert Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award.
Luis is founding editor of Tia Chucha Press, now for over 30 years, and more than 20 years ago he co-founded with his wife Trini Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural & Bookstore in the San Fernando Valley. He has traveled across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, Europe, and Japan to speak, do poetry readings, indigenous ceremonies, or reportage over the past 40 years. This includes prisons, jails, and juvenile lockups in around 20 U.S. states, as well as Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Argentina, Italy, and England. Dedicated to his indigenous roots and Native American spirituality, Luis has a Mexika name: Mixcoatl Itztlacuiloh. With his wife Trini (Tlazohteotl) he has a podcast called "The Hummingbird Cricket Hour"--http://hchpodcast.libsyn.com/
If writing is a gift, a poder, within every aspiring writer, then giving it to the world is our aim. And in a world of turmoil, uncertainty, oppressions, this is greatly enriched by the careful, methodical, yet organic and even rasquache manner of your giving. You need skills, strategies, and subtle earth. But most importantly you must write. Write your heart out. Write till you scare yourself. And with every obstacle and distraction, don't ever stop. Luis J. Rodriguez is a multi-genre writer who has been published by Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins, but also medium and small presses like Curbstone, Lee & Low, and Seven Stories. He has also been a working journalist, TV script consultant, and a playwright. He's founding editor of Tia Chucha Press and former Los Angeles Poet Laureate. Story is our heritage. Writing our weapon. Write as if your life depends on it.