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Luís Alberto Urrea

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Title: Luís Alberto Urrea  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Chicano literature, Border Regional Library Association, El Rosario, Sinaloa, Moyers & Company, List of University of Illinois at Chicago people
Collection: 1955 Births, 20Th-Century American Novelists, 20Th-Century American Poets, 21St-Century American Novelists, 21St-Century American Poets, American Essayists, American Male Novelists, American Male Poets, American Memoirists, American Writers of Mexican Descent, Harvard University Staff, Hispanic and Latino American Novelists, Living People, Male Essayists, Mexican Emigrants to the United States, People from Tijuana, University of California, San Diego Alumni, University of Colorado Alumni, University of Illinois at Chicago Faculty, University of Louisiana at Lafayette Faculty, Writers from Baja California
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Luís Alberto Urrea

Luis Alberto Urrea at the 2009 Texas Book Festival.

Luis Alberto Urrea (born 1955 Tijuana, Mexico) is a Mexican American poet, novelist, and essayist.


  • Life 1
  • Awards 2
  • Bibliography 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Urrea is the son of a Mexican father and an American mother. He attended the University of California, San Diego, earning an undergraduate degree in writing, and did his graduate studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

After serving as a relief worker in Tijuana, and a film extra and columnist-editor-cartoonist for several publications, Urrea moved to Boston where he taught expository writing and fiction workshops at Harvard University. He has also taught at Massachusetts Bay Community College, and the University of Colorado, and he was the writer in residence at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Urrea lives with his family in Naperville, Illinois, where he is a professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois at Chicago.[1]

In two heavily researched historical novels, The Hummingbird's Daughter and Queen of America, Urrea tells the story of his great aunt, Teresita Urrea, who was known as "The Saint of Cabora" and "The Mexican Joan of Arc".

The Devil's Highway is his 2004 non-fiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert.

Urrea was a speaker at the 2008 Santa Barbara Writers Conference,[2] and the 2008 Banned Books Week Read-Out, Chicago.[3]


Urrea's first book, Across the Wire, was named a New York Times Notable Book and won the Christopher Award.

In 1994, he won the 1994 Colorado Book Award in poetry for The Fever of Being[4] as well as the Western States Book Award in poetry. He was also included in The 1996 Best American Poetry collection.

In 1999, Urrea won an American Book Award for his memoir, Nobody's Son: Notes from an American Life.

His book of short stories, Six Kinds of Sky, was named the 2002 small-press Book of the Year in fiction by the editors of ForeWord magazine.

In 2000, he was voted into the Latino Literature Hall of Fame following the publication of Vatos.

The Devil's Highway won the 2004 Lannan Literary Award,[5] the Border Regional Library Association's Southwest Book Award [6] and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and for the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize. It was also optioned for a film by CDI Producciones. The book was adopted as the 2010 One Book for Sac State[7]

His short story "Amapola" won the Edgar Award in 2010 for best mystery short story. It can be found in the anthology Phoenix Noir.


Urrea at the Miami Book Fair International, 2005
  • The Fever of Being. West End Press. 1994.  
  • Ghost Sickness.  
  • Vatos. José Galvez, Josae Galvez (photog.). Cinco Puntos Press. 2000.  
  • "Walking Backwards in thee Dark". Virginia Quarterly Review. Spring 2007. 
Short Stories
  • Six Kinds of Sky. Cinco Puntos Press. 2002.  
  • In Search of Snow. University of Arizona Press. 1999.  
  • The Hummingbird's Daughter. Little, Brown and Company. 2005.  
  • Into the Beautiful North. Little, Brown and Company. 2009.  
  • Queen of America. Little, Brown and Company. 2011.  
  • Wandering Time: Western Notebooks. University of Arizona Press. 1999.  
  • Nobody's Son: Notes from an American Life. University of Arizona Press. 2002.  
  • Across the wire: life and hard times on the Mexican border. John Lueders-Booth (photog.). Anchor Books. 1993.  
  • By the Lake of Sleeping Children. Anchor Books. 1996.  
  • The Devil's Highway. Little, Brown and Company. 2004.  
  • "On Standing at Neruda’s Tomb: An interview with Martín Espada". Poetry Foundation. 2006. 


  1. ^
  2. ^ Brett Leigh Dicks (June 19, 2008). "Luis Alberto Urrea to Speak at S.B. Writers Conference". Santa Barbara Independent. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ List of Winners, 1991-2007, accessed 18 July 2010.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "BRLA 2004 Southwest Book Awards." Border Regional Library Association. 2008. Web. 26 July 2009.
  7. ^ 7

External links

  • Author's website
  • "Four Corners: One Book author Luis Alberto Urrea", Kinsee Morlan, KSUT, 2009
  • "Conversations". Waterbridge Review. September 2006. 
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