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Member of regular staff of International Conference on the Fantastic in Literature, 1979–82; member of literature panel of Fine Arts Council of Florida, 1982; member of administrative staff of Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, 1983, 1984.Poetry Society of America, Poets and Writers, Associated Writing Programs.The family has gathered, as it does every day between three and four in the afternoon, for with Mama, the term everyone uses in referring to Ortiz Cofer’s grandmother.
Born 1952, in Hormigueros, Puerto Rico; immigrated to United States, 1956; Ethnicity: "Puerto Rican" Education: Augusta College, B. Bilingual teacher at public schools in Palm Beach County, FL, 1974–75; Broward Community College, Fort Lauderdale, FL, adjunct instructor in English, 1978–80, instructor in Spanish, 1979; University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, lecturer in English, 1980–84; University of Georgia, Athens, instructor in English, 1984–87, Georgia Center for Continuing Education, instructor in English, 1987–88; Macon College, instructor in English, 1988–89; Mercer University College, Forsyth, GA, special programs coordinator, 1990; University of Georgia, professor of English and creative writing, 1994–.
Office—Mercer University College, Forsyth, GA 31029. Agent—Berenice Hoffman Literary Agency, 215 West 75th St., New York, NY 10023.
The Latin Deli: Prose and Poetry, University of Georgia Press (Athens, GA), 1993.
An Island like You: Stories of the Barrio, Orchard (New York, NY), 1995.
The sequence in which they are read need not be Ortiz Cofer’s sequence, although she obviously spent considerable thought on arranging the book’s disparate components as she moved toward publication.
“Casa,” the lead story, explains elements of the book’s genesis.
It is instead a collection of thirteen stories and a preface, with eighteen poems scattered amid the stories.
The book’s elements are interconnected but are also discrete.
Scholar of English-speaking Union at Oxford University, 1977; fellow of Fine Arts Council of Florida, 1980; Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, scholar, 1981, John Atherton Scholar in Poetry, 1982; grant from Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry, 1988, for Letters from a Caribbean Island; National Endowment for the Arts fellowship in poetry, 1989; nominee, Pulitzer Prize, 1990, for The Line of the Sun; PEN/Martha Albrand Special Citation, for Silent Dancing; Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, for The Latin Deli; O.
Henry Award, 1994, for "Nada"; Best Book citation, American Library Association (ALA), and Pura Belpre medal, REFORM/ALA, both 1996, both for An Island like You: Stories of the Barrio; Chris-Janer Award in Creative Research, University of Georgia, 1998; Americas Award for Children's and Young-Adult Literature, National Consortium of Latin-American Studies Programs, 2003, and Books for the Teen Age citation, New York Public Library, 2004, both for The Meaning of Consuelo; Pushcart Prize; Americas Award honorable mention, National Consortium of Latin-American Studies Programs, 2005, for Call Me Maria; Georgia Top Twenty-five Reading List includee, 2005, for The Latin Deli.