Center for Women Writers launches the Literary Icons Series under the placard of the Beverly Pritchard Lecture Series, with award-winning authors Ana Castillo and Toi Derricotte. These two ground-breaking writers have long careers as literary stalwarts, activists and advocates. They have each published extensively in poetry and prose and have each written haunting, lyric, genre-defying memoirs on their lives as women-of-color writers.
In a career spanning three decades, novelist, poet, and essayist Ana Castillo has long been recognized as “one of the most powerful voices in contemporary Chicana literature” (Elsa Saeta). Steeped in Chicano tradition and the present-day Chicano movement, Castillo’s works transcend boundaries, making her “one of a few Mexican American writers who have attracted the attention of the mainstream reading public” (Ibis Gomez-Vega). Her latest, the memoir Black Dove: Essays on Mamá, Mi’jo, and Me, looks at what it means to be a single, brown, feminist parent in a world of mass incarceration, racial profiling, and police brutality.