Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Lisa Alvarado  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Poetry & Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1956 in Chicago, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Lisa Alvarado on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Alvarado was born in Chicago, Illinois

Biographical and Professional Information

'''Lisa Alvarado's Publications include''':2011 Still, life, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2011 2008 Raw Silk Suture, Floricanto Press, excerpts featured in OCHO, February 20082007 La Bloga, and, online literary criticism, book reviews,interviews, cultural commentary (, and Sister Chicas, Penguin/NAL(written with Ann Hagman Cardinal and Jane Alberdeston Coralin)2004 Mexico, 90 days and counting, poetry, Derriva, journal, Mexico City, D. F.2000 Dark Water Speaking, poetry, Editor1999 Housekeeper's Diary, poetry1995 Reclamo/Reclamation, poetry'''Education''':B.A. in Writing Vermont CollegeM.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts Goddard College Vermont'''Work Experience''':2008/2009 Adjunct Faculty, English Department/Columbia College Chicago2008 Adjunct Faculty, English Department/North Park UniversityDesigned syllabus for and taught the following: Introduction to Poetry and Introduction to Creative Writing, respectively. Syllabi covered both survey courses and writing instructional intensives. Conversant with Oasis and Blackboard interfaces.1995-present: Founder & Publisher, La Onda Negra Press, Chicago IL La Onda Negra is an award-winning Chicago-based independent press exclusively devoted to expanding the local and national markets for the work of women writers of color. Responsible for project development, project management, editing, layout and design, national marketing and promotion. Secured in depth profiles and interviews in The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, and Latino USA/NPR; in addition to six interviews/readings for 848/NPR, through press releases, email blasts, and personal cultivation. La Onda Negra is the only press with a mission of its kind in the Midwest and only one of three in the entire country. To date, its three publications include Reclamo/Reclamation, a volume of poetry by the founder; Housekeeper's Diary, a chapbook of poetry, also by the founder; Dark Water Speaking, the first anthology of Chicago-area female poets of color, in development.'''Media Coverage''':Featured interviews, profiles, and by-lines in the following: USA Today, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, Latino USA/NPR, Latina Magazine, Estylo, Latina Style, Catalina, The Writer Magazine, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Chicago Tribune, Univision, FOX-TV Channel 32, WGN-TV.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Sister Chicas
ISBN: 0451217705

NAL. 2006

Taina's turning fifteen-and is so dreading her Pepto-pink quinceañera, her Sweet Fifteen.What about her secret Jamaican artist boyfriend? Should she let Mami choose her escort, or follow her heart-and ignite a family riot?

Grachi must choose between being the good Chicana-and grabbing la oportunidad de la vida. Now she needs her Sister Chicas more than ever...

Leni's the rebel-with a punk style and an attitude to go with it. But as she tries to make sense of her roots with her Chicas, her life gets more complicated, especially when her childhood friend turns into a handsome rockero...

And even though Taina,Grachi, and Leni don't always agree on things-like boys, clothes, and music-nothing gets in the way of their friendship.

Raw Silk Suture
ISBN: 1888205067

Floricanto Press. 2008

Alvarado's call for "a quiet remaking of cells" is nothing short of revolutionary. Read this book, look at yourself and the world around you and know: anything is possible. Demetria Martínez author, Confessions of a Berlitz-Tape Chicana In some respects, this is stark work. "These are nightmare words," says one of Lisa Alvarado's speakers, and it seems so: "Soon the fists will come, soon the belt"-spurring one to yearn for alternative connections: "I want so much to braid myself to him." Or compel us toward acute observation where "each day, / I watched / your small suicides." And yet we sense, finally, that "world is word / word is my body"-that is: language, sculpted, can console "from a place that is tender, deeply so," as in the moving portrait, "La Perdida," that closes this collection. Simply put, Raw Silk Suture is "a scar / that has / become a flower." Francisco Aragón Editor, The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry Founding Editor, Latino Poetry Review (LPR) Lisa Alvarado is a poet, performer, and installation artist, focusing on identity, spirit, and the body. She is the recipient of grants from the Department of Cultural Affairs, The NEA, and the Ragdale Foundation. Lisa is also developing an ambitious trilogy of performance pieces, whose themes are the culture of violence, popular culture and personal redemption She's also a journalist, contributing reviews and interviews to La Bloga, and Her website -

Still, Life.
ISBN: 1467909408

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2011

Essays, poetry and observations on forgiveness, love found and lost, identity, the war in Afganistan, immigration, and making art and making a life.


  • ''Sister Chicas'' won 2nd place Best First Novel in English (Latino Literacy Now/2007)

  • One of ten artists selected from a pool of 250 applicants, awarded a Regional Artists Program Grant from The National Endowment for the Arts in 1996.
  • Awarded full writer's residency and scholarship, Ledig House International Writer's Residency, Art/Omi International Arts Center in 2006.
  • One of five artists receiving a City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs Community Arts Assistance Program Grant three years in a row, 1995, 1996, 1997, with an additional award in 1999.
  • Awarded full writer's residency and scholarship, Ragdale Foundation in 1995.

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)