Acclaimed Chicano poet, novelist, children’s book author, and journalist Luis J. Rodriguez tells the story of his childhood as a gang member in the national bestseller Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. This vivid memoir explores gang life and cautions against the death and destruction that haunts its participants. A New York Times Notable Book, Always Running was named one of the nation’s one hundred most-censored titles by the American Library Association due to its frank depictions of gang life.
Rodriguez is the author of several collections of poetry including My Nature is Hunger: New and Selected Poems, 1989–2004 and Borrowed Bones: New Poems from the Poet Laureate of Los Angeles. He has won a Poetry Center Book Award, Paterson Poetry Prize, PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, and was honored with a Lannan Fellowship for poetry. In 2014, Rodriguez was appointed Los Angeles Poet Laureate. His books for children, América Is Her Name and It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way: A Barrio Story, were published in English and Spanish and have won several prizes including a Parents’ Choice Award. Rodriguez is also the author of Hearts and Hands: Creating Community in Violent Times, and a novel, Music of the Mill. He is coeditor of Rushing Waters, Rising Dreams: How the Arts Are Transforming a Community with Denise M. Sandoval, which was honored by the Independent Publisher Book Awards. In 1993, Rodriguez Rodriguez received the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize in journalism with photojournalist Donna De Cesare for their coverage of Salvadoran gang youth in Los Angeles and El Salvador.
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.