elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,
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elisa_rolle

Cherríe Moraga (born September 25, 1952)

Cherríe L. Moraga (born 25 September 1952) is a Chicana writer, feminist activist, poet, essayist, and playwright. The Sexuality of Latinas, edited by Norma Alarcón, Ana Castillo, and Cherríe Moraga, is a collage of essays, poetry, fiction, and artwork from the "actively heterosexual, to the celibate, to the secretly sexual, to the politically visible lesbian." Both poignant and humorous, it's thirty-seven contributors examine attitudes toward and representations of sexuality. Among others, it features Gloria Anzuldúa, Elvia Alvarado, Julia Alvarez, Ana Castillo, Barbara Brinson Curiel, Denise Chavéz, Sandra Cisneros, Lucha Corpi, Arcelia Ponce, Ana María Simo, Carmen Tafolla, and Luz María Umpierre.

Moraga was born in Whittier, California. She earned her Bachelor's degree from Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, California and her Master's from San Francisco State University in 1980. Of both Anglo and Mexican American heritage, her writing focuses on her experiences as a Chicana lesbian.

Moraga has taught courses in dramatic arts and writing at various universities across the United States and is currently an artist in residence at Stanford University. Her play, Watsonville: Some Place Not Here, performed at the Brava Theatre Company of San Francisco in May, 1996, won the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Fund for New American Plays Award. Barbara Smith, Audre Lorde and Moraga started Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, the first publisher dedicated to the writing of women of color in the United States.

She is perhaps best known for co-editing, with Gloria Anzaldúa, the anthology of feminist thought This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. Along with Ana Castillo and Norma Alarcon, she adapted this anthology into the Spanish-language Esta puente, mi espalda: Voces de mujeres tercermundistas en los Estados Unidos. Writings in the anthology, along with works by other prominent feminists of color, call for a greater prominence within feminism for race-related subjectivities, and ultimately laid the foundation for third wave feminism or Third World Feminism in the USA. Her first sole-authored book, Loving in the War Years: lo que nunca pasó por sus labios (1983), a combination of autobiographically modulated prose and poetry, is also an influential critical work among Chicana feminists and other feminists of color, and among scholars working in Chicano Studies.


Ana Castillo and Cherrie Moraga, 1989, by Robert Giard
Cherríe Moraga is a Chicana writer, feminist activist, poet, essayist, and playwright. The Sexuality of Latinas, edited by Norma Alarcón, Ana Castillo, and Cherríe Moraga, is a collage of essays, poetry, fiction, and artwork from the "actively heterosexual, to the celibate, to the secretly sexual, to the politically visible lesbian." Both poignant and humorous, it's thirty-seven contributors examine attitudes toward and representations of sexuality.

Cherrie Moraga was named a 2007 USA Rockefeller Fellow and granted $50,000 by United States Artists, an arts advocacy foundation dedicated to the support and promotion of America's top living artists.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherrie_Moraga


Cherrie Moraga, 1989, by Robert Giard (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/brbldl_getrec.asp?fld=img&id=1123976)
American photographer Robert Giard is renowned for his portraits of American poets and writers; his particular focus was on gay and lesbian writers. Some of his photographs of the American gay and lesbian literary community appear in his groundbreaking book Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, published by MIT Press in 1997. Giard’s stated mission was to define the literary history and cultural identity of gays and lesbians for the mainstream of American society, which perceived them as disparate, marginal individuals possessing neither. In all, he photographed more than 600 writers. (http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digitallibrary/giard.html)


Further Readings:

Loving in the War Years: Lo Que Nunca Paso por Sus Labios (South End Press Classics Series) by Cherrie L. Moraga
Paperback: 264 pages
Publisher: South End Press; 2nd, expanded edition (September 1, 2000)
Language: English, Spanish
ISBN-10: 0896086267
ISBN-13: 978-0896086265
Amazon: Loving in the War Years: Lo Que Nunca Paso por Sus Labios

Weaving together poetry and prose, Spanish and English, family history and political theory, Loving in the War Years has been a classic in the feminist and Chicano canon since its 1983 release. This new edition—including a new introduction and three new essays—remains a testament of Moraga's coming-of-age as a Chicana and a lesbian at a time when the political merging of those two identities was severely censured.

Drawing on the Mexican legacy of Malinche, the symbolic mother of the first mestizo peoples, Moraga examines the collective sexual and cultural wounding suffered by women since the Conquest. Moraga examines her own mestiza parentage and the seemingly inescapable choice of assimilation into a passionless whiteness or uncritical acquiescence to the patriarchal Chicano culture she was raised to reproduce. By finding Chicana feminism and honoring her own sexuality and loyalty to other women of color, Moraga finds a way to claim both her family and her freedom.

Moraga's new essays, written with a voice nearly a generation older, continue the project of "loving in the war years," but Moraga's posture is now closer to that of a zen warrior than a street-fighter. In these essays, loving is an extended prayer, where the poet-politica reflects on the relationship between our small individual deaths and the dyings of nations of people (pueblos). Loving is an angry response to the "cultural tyranny" of the mainstream art world and a celebration of the strategic use of "cultural memory" in the creation of an art of resistance.

Cherríe Moraga is the co-editor of the classic feminist anthology This Bridge Called My Back and the author of The Last Generation. She is Artist-in-Residence at Stanford University.

More Particular Voices at my website: http://www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Particular Voices

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Tags: author: cherrie moraga, particular voices
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