Cruz is the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and she is the Hodder Fellow in Poetry at Princeton University. She previously taught writing at Sarah Lawrence College, the Juilliard School, Fordham University, Eugene Lang College, and Westchester Community College. She has also taught writing in homeless shelters, and to women in the eating disorder ward of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, and to children in the West Bank. Her work with children includes tutoring homeless children in reading and writing, and teaching literature and writing to at-risk teenagers, and elementary school students.
Cruz lives in Brooklyn.