Born in El Paso, Texas, Luis J. Rodriguez grew up in Watts and East Los Angeles. A gang member and drug user at the age of twelve, by the time he turned eighteen, Rodríguez had lost twenty-five of his friends to gang violence, drug overdoses, shootings, and suicide. He’s the author of two award-winning autobiographical accounts of his experiences with gang violence and addiction, It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing and Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.
Rodriguez is also the author of several other books of poetry and prose, including most recently, From Our Land to Our Land: Essays, journeys and imaginings from a native Xicanx writer.
For close to 40 years, Rodriguez has been going to prisons, juvenile lockups, and jails to facilitate writing workshops, poetry readings, talks, and healing circles.
Luis J. Rodriguez is the next speaker in Spokane Community College’s Hagan Center series, Diversity Dialogues, Conversations About Race and Equity, on Wednesday, May 12, 2021.