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Texas State Celebrates Sandra Cisneros

Sandra Cisneros Symposium and Public Reading
Sandra Cisneros Symposium and Public Reading Gallery

Texas State honored American storyteller, essayist, poet and novelist Sandra Cisneros with a weekend-long celebration of her work and career and the opening of her archives at The Wittliff Collections.

A daylong symposium held Saturday, April 29, featured renowned scholars of Cisneros’s work from UTSA, Stanford University, Baylor University, Northwestern University, the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., and other universities from across the United States. These scholars presented original theories and lectures about Cisneros’s literary traditions.

Texas Poet Laureate Laurie Ann Guerrero welcomed Cisneros, who attended the symposium, as a feminist force and someone whose voice has been vital in her own life. She said the Sandra Cisneros archives at The Wittliff Collections is an homage to women everywhere. “(The archives) creates space for us to feel connected.”

On Sunday, April 30, more than 500 people attended a public reading by Cisneros who read an excerpt from her memoir A House of My Own: Stories from My Life and presented one of her intense poems, God Breaks the Heart Again and Again Until It Stays Open. After the reading, Cisneros joined author John Phillip Santos on stage for a heart-to-heart conversation.

Cisneros also signed books and met with more than 400 readers after the event.

Key artifacts from the Cisneros archive including manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, and Cisneros’s portable typewriter are on display at The Wittliff Collections through July 1.