Sandra Cisneros

Sandra Cisneros is best known as a novelist but she is also an author of short stories, a poet, an artist, an essayist and a performer. Born in Chicago in 1954, Cisneros and her six brothers alternated living in Chicago and Mexico City as their father found jobs in one city or the other. The family eventually settled in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood.

A poet from the age of ten, Cisneros’ writing began its development in high school and then at Loyola University (Chicago) where she earned her undergraduate degree. She followed that with an MFA from the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa where she realized that her cultural background was full of rich material for her writing projects. Her Humboldt Park neighborhood and its people became the inspiration of the award-winning novel, The House on Mango Street.

Cisneros, who now lives in Mexico, founded the Macondo Writers Workshop for socially engaged writers and continues to write.

Why this stop? The Blue Line Damen stop is 5 blocks from the Cisneros family house on Campbell Street (known in Cisneros’ writing as Mango Street).

Listen to Studs Terkel interview Sandra Cisneros.

Photo by Gage Skidmore