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Luis J. Rodriguez

Former poet laureate of Los Angeles (2014–2016) Luis J. Rodriguez is the author of many works of fiction, nonfiction, memoir, poetry, and children's literature, including Hearts and Hands: Creating Community in Violent Times and the acclaimed bestseller Always Running. His memoir, It Calls You Back, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2011. He is the recipient of the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers Award, a Lannan Foundation Poetry Fellowship, a Carl Sandburg Book Award, the PEN Josephine Miles Literary Award, and more. A script consultant for the FX drama Snowfall, he founded Barking Rooster Entertainment, a production company for original content for film, TV, and web. Thirty years ago he founded the well-respected Tia Chucha Press, which publishes mostly poetry collections, and he is cofounder of Tia Chucha's Cultural Center and Bookstore in LA's San Fernando Valley. In addition to traveling extensively, he teaches every week at two maximum-security yards at Lancaster State Prison. He was the Green Party's candidate for governor of California in 2014. He lives in the San Fernando Valley with his wife, Trini, and his children, Ramiro, Andrea, Ruben, and Chito.

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