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Jimmy Santiago Baca

Saturday, April 28th, 2:00 PM

Cindy Pritzker Auditorium
Harold Washington Library Center
400 South State Street
Free admission on a first come, first served basis

Born in New Mexico and of Chicano and Apache descent, Jimmy Santiago Baca was raised first by his grandmother, who later sent him to an orphanage. At 13, Baca ran away, and at 21, he was sentenced to five years in a maximum-security prison. It was there that he learned to read and began to write poetry.
Baca’s work is concerned with social justice and revolves around the marginalized and disenfranchised, featuring themes of addiction, community, and the American Southwest barrios. Baca has said, “I approach language as if it will contain who I am as a person.”

A prolific writer, Baca has been awarded the Pushcart Prize, the National Poetry Award, two Southwest Book Awards, and the International Hispanic Heritage Award. He has also written a memoir, a collection of stories, a novel, and a guidebook for teachers.
Co-sponsored with the Chicago Public Library, as part of Poetry Fest

This event replaces Poetry off the Shelf: Les Murray, which has been canceled.

Other Information

  • Browse Poems

  • Detail, photograph by Jun Fujita, circa 1930s, courtesy of the Graham and Pamela Lee private collection.
    Current Exhibition
    Jan 12, 2017 – Apr 21, 2017

    This exhibition presents photographs and ephemera from the poet Jun Fujita (1888-1963). Fujita is an English-language tanka poet who published regularly in Poetry during the 1920s. The first Japanese-American photojournalist, he is responsible for the most famous photos of the Eastland disaster, the Chicago race riots of 1919, and the St. Valentine’s Day massacre, among others. This show will explore his lesser-known landscapes.