The Chicano Writers and Artists Association (CWAA) will host Jimmy Santiago Baca, one of the foremost voices in American poetry and Chicano literature, on Friday, May 6, at 7 p.m. to give a reading and answer questions in the Alice Peters Auditorium at California State University, Fresno.

A reception and book signing will follow in the Duncan patio, adjacent to the auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Baca published his first poems during his incarceration in federal prison in the early 1970s. Since then, he has won numerous honors, including the National Endowment for the Arts

Award in poetry, the Vogelstein Foundation Award, the National Hispanic Heritage Award, the Pushcart Prize and the International Prize. He also has held the Wallace Stevens Endowed Chair at Yale University.

Baca’s most recent published works include a collection of short stories, “The Importance of a Piece of Paper” as well a collection of poetry, “Winter Poems Along the Rio Grande.”

Ricardo Garza, president of CWAA, hailed Baca as a true inspiration to writers and artists. “His poetry touches on powerful themes of oppression, dignity, maturity, as well as being true to Southwest and Chicano culture. His new short stories are unforgettable, uplifting and tragic. He will be a passionate guest,” said Garza.

In conjunction with Baca’s appearance, CWAA will release the 13th edition of its literary journal, which Garza has recently renamed “Pachuco Children Hurl Stones” signifying a return to the original name of the journal.

“We chose to rename our journal as both a gesture of respect for the founding members of our organization, and also because we believe the name reflects the current spirit of all Chicano artists and people interested in Chicano art,” said Garza.

For more information call the English Department at 278-2553.