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Stanford Libraries acquire papers of poet Ricardo Sanchez

STANFORD -- The Stanford University Libraries have just acquired the personal papers of poet Ricardo Sanchez, a major figure in the field of Chicano literature.

The addition of the Sanchez collection to Stanford's holdings will be a boon to students of Chicano literature, according to Roberto G. Trujillo, Stanford curator for Mexican American collections.

Sanchez, 51, grew up in El Paso, Texas. He dropped out of high school, enlisted in the U.S. Army, and later served time in prison, both in California and in Texas. After his parole in 1969, he earned a high school equivalency certificate. In 1974, sponsored by Ford Foundation grants, he earned a doctorate in American studies and cultural linguistic theory at Union Graduate School in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Sanchez began his creative writing in the early 1970s. He has written several monograph-length works of poetry, and he is widely anthologized and published in literary journals and newspapers.

His works include Canto y grito mi liberacion (y lloro mis desmadrazgos. . .), which was expanded and republished in a bilingual edition in 1973; Hechizospells: Poetry/Stories/Vignettes/Articles/Notes on the Human Condition of Chicanos and Picaros, Words and Hopes within Soulmind; Milhuas Blues and Gritos Nortenos; Brown Bear and Honey Madness: Alaskan Cruising Poems; Amsterdam Cantos y Poemas Pistos; Selected Poems; and Eagle-Visioned/Feathered Adobes: Manito Sojourns and Pachuco Ramblings.

In an article on Sanchez and his work, Joel Hancock of the University of Utah says that the poet "has written about the many forces - historical, cultural, linguistic, social, political - that have shaped and determined Chicano reality.

"At the same time he expresses concerns about the universal human condition and asks questions related to individual existence."

Sanchez is an associate professor with appointments in both the English Department and the Department of Comparative American Cultures at Washington State University. He also has taught at the University of Utah, the University of Texas-El Paso and the University of Wisconsin. He held a poet in residence appointment at the University of Alaska in Juneau and was a National Endowment for the Arts poet in residence at El Paso Community College.

Stanford Libraries' Mexican American collections support both teaching and research on the Mexican experience in the United States. The addition of Sanchez's papers, including his manuscript material, video and audio recordings, correspondence files and journalistic writings, will allow for a more comprehensive study of the writer's work, Trujillo said.

Stanford's Department of Spanish and Portuguese has two doctoral students who are studying and writing about Sanchez's work, Trujillo said.



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