Cherríe Moraga

Cherríe Moraga

Cherríe Moraga has influenced a generation of writers, educators and activists throughout her career.

This month, she will continue to share her knowledge with students at Cal State Long Beach by hosting a public reading of her newest memoir, “Native Country of the Heart.” This will be one of Moraga’s first events for her new memoir.

Moraga’s career began in 1981, with her co-editorship of the feminist anthology, “This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color.” Moraga’s other notable work includes “A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness,” “Loving in The War Years” and “Waiting in the Wings: Portrait of a Queer Motherhood.”

Among other honors, she is the recipient of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship for Literature and the American Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award.

Moraga will also lead two-hour creative writing workshop that day. Twenty-one students have been selected through an application process and will work with Moraga on various creative writing exercises.

“The workshop also represents an opportunity for students to strengthen their writing portfolios,” said Anna M. Sandoval, Ph.D., professor and department chair of the Department of Chicano and Latino Studies.

Sandoval also said that student work inspired by the workshop and related events will be displayed on the lecture series website.

Moraga’s reading and workshop is part of the 2019 Helena Maria Viramontes Annual Lecture series at Cal State Long Beach.

Selected by a committee of faculty from the Chicano and Latino Studies, English and Romance, German, Russian Languages and Literature (RGRLL) departments, Sandoval said the lecture series is fitting for Moraga and her work about cultural activism.

“It is a time and space where we highlight both emerging writers and scholars, and also established writers who have inspired and nurtured a Latinx community of literary voices,” Sandoval said.

She said Moraga has inspired a generation of writers and has brought important voices in the community to the forefront. She also said Moraga’s work has made her teaching more meaningful.

“Because through the teaching of her work, I am able to delve into issues that challenge students to explore their own identities and celebrate their culture and their voices and sometimes, because of her work, students are encouraged to tell their own stories,” Sandoval said.

The event is free and open to the public. There is no registration or sign up for the event. However, the venue seats only approximately 370 people. Early arrival is encouraged to ensure a seat.

The event is supported by Arts Council of Long Beach, CLA Scholarly Intersections, CLA Understanding Borders Initiative, Office of the President, President’s Commission on the Status of Women, University Library, and the departments of Chicano and Latino Studies, Communication Studies, English, RGRLL, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

The reading will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 18, at the University Theater at Cal State Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd. A reception will follow in the Academic Senate Building, Room 384.

For details, go to

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