Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Ciara Biography - Wrote Out Goals to Elizabeth David (1913–1992) Biography » Lucha Corpi: 1945—: Poet, Novelist Biography - Immigrated To United States, Became A Poet, Evolved As A Writer

Lucha Corpi: 1945—: Poet, Novelist - Evolved As A Writer

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In 1992 Corpi wrote her first mystery novel, Eulogy for a Brown Angel, which won the Multicultural Publishers Exchange Best Book of Fiction award. As with her previous work, she continued to insert Mexican history into the settings and events of the fictionalized story. She followed with Cactus Blood in 1995 and Black Widow's Wardrobe in 1999. The books all featured her Chicano detective, Damasco. "It's her inclusion of Latino culture that distinguishes Corpi," noted Valerie Menard in Hispanic. In 1999 Corpi edited Mascaras, a book of 15 autobiographical essays by Latina writers, a collection that investigated many of her own concerns. "In addressing the role of women as artists," wrote Nan Alamilla in Signs, "Corpi's collection explores the development of Latina consciousness and provides new insight into the sources of Latina feminisms."

Corpi has taught English as a second language at Oakland public schools since 1973 and also teaches at Vista Junior College. She told Ikas, "As a teacher in the Oakland schools, am a mediator between cultures.… Being a writer is then just an extension of that view of the teacher as well." Her mysteries have earned her a membership in the feminist writers' organization, Sisters in Crime, and she won the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award in 1993. A poet as well as a prose writer, Corpi' two most common themes are the inescapable nature of fate and the concerns of women who find themselves trapped by the circumstances of their own lives. Corpi's ability to address these concerns continued to resonate, both in and beyond the growing Latino community.

Selected Writings

(With Elsie Alvarado de Ricord and Concha Michel) Fireflight: Three Latin American Poets, Oyez, 1976.

Palabras de mediodia/Noon Words, Fuego de Aztlan, 1980.

Delia's Song, Arte Publico, 1989.

Cactus Blood, Arte Publico, 1995.

Where Fireflies Dance, Children's Book Press, 1997.

Black Widow's Wardrobe, Arte Publico, 1999.



Ikas, Karin Rosa, Chicana Ways: Conversations with Ten Chicana Writers, University of Nevada, 2002.

Lomeli, Francisco A., and Carl R. Shirley, editors, Chicano Writers First Series: Dictionary of American Literary Biography, Vol. 82, Gale, 1989.

Rebolledo, Tey Diana, Women Singing in the Snow: A Cultural Analysis of Chicana Literature, University of Arizona, 1995.


Hispanic, May 2000, p. 80.

MultiCultural Review, September 2001.

Signs, Autumn 1999, p. 255.

—Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

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