Salzburg Global Seminar Session Participant Profiles
Wed 02 Apr - Wed 09 Apr, 2003
(Session 408/ASC 31)

no photo available Helena Viramontes (Faculty)

Country/Region: United States of America

University of Miami

Biography:
Helena Maria VIRAMONTES is associate professor with the Creative Writing Program of the Department of English at Cornell University, New York. As a writer of fiction and poetry, she has received widespread critical acclaim for her masterful depictions of Chicano/a culture. Her work focuses on the struggles and sufferings of Chicana women in their families, culture, and society. Her first collection of short stories, entitled The Moths and Other Stories, appeared in 1985, and has since then been adopted into numerous literary anthologies. Her first novel, Under the Feet of Jesus, has been compared and taught alongside of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. In her efforts to promote Chicana/o and Latina/o literary work, Dr. Viramontes served as co-coordinator of The Latino Writers Association from 1978 to 1981 and subsequently co-founded The Southern California Latina/o Writers and Filmmakers organization, where she served as vice president from 1990 to 1993. She has organized several major conferences and served as literary editor of XhismeArte magazine, a grassroots production for Chicano/a and Latino/a literature. In 1995, she was awarded the John Dos Passos Prize in Literature from the Longwood Foundation. Dr. Viramontes received an M.F.A. degree in creative writing from the University of California, Irvine, and an honorary doctorate from St. Mary's College, Indiana.