Lorna Dee Cervantes

1954 –

A fifth generation Californian of Mexican and Native American (Chumash) heritage, Lorna Dee Cervantes was born on August 6, 1954, in San Francisco, and raised in San Jose, California. She earned a BA in creative arts from San Jose State University and a PhD in the history of consciousness from the University of California, Santa Cruz. 

Cervantes is the author of several poetry collections, including Sueño: New Poems (Wings Press, 2013); Ciento: 100 100-Word Love Poems (Wings Press, 2011); From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger (Arte Público Press, 1991) and Emplumada (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1981), which won an American Book Award. She is also a coeditor of Red Dirt, a cross-cultural poetry journal, and her work has been published in many anthologies, including Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry (Penguin, 1994), edited by Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Jennifer Gillan; No More Masks! An Anthology of Twentieth-Century Women Poets (Harper Perennial, 1993), edited by Florence Howe; and After Aztlan: Latino Poets of the Nineties (David R. Godine, 1992), edited Ray González

In 1977, Cervantes received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1995 she received a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award.

Cervantes has held faculty positions at the University of Houston, the University of Colorado Boulder, and the University of California, Berkeley, where she has served as a UC Regents Lecturer in the English department since 2011.