Sandra Cisneros was born in Chicago on December 20, 1954. She and her six brothers grew up in Mexico and Chicago. Cisneros earned a BA in English from Loyola University of Chicago and an MFA from the University of Iowa.
Her books of poetry include Loose Woman (Knopf, 1994); My Wicked, Wicked Ways (Third Woman Press, 1987); The Rodrigo Poems (Third Woman Press, 1985); and the chapbook Bad Boys (Mango Publications, 1980).
She is also the author of the best-selling novel The House on Mango Street (Arte Público Press, 1984), which won the American Book Award in 1985 and has been translated into multiple languages. Her other works of fiction include Caramelo (Knopf, 2003); Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (Penguin, 1991), which won the Quality Paperback Book Club New Voices Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and the Lannan Foundation Literary Award; and a bilingual children's book, Hairs: Pelitos (Apple Soup Book, 1994).
Among her other honors are fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the MacArthur Foundation. In 2016, she received the National Medal of the Arts awarded by President Obama.
She has taught at many colleges and universities, including the University of California, University of Michigan, and the University of New Mexico. She lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.