What: Author, poet and former gang member Luis J. Rodriguez is coming to the University of La Verne to share his memoir “It Calls You Back,” this year’s selection for the One Book, One University Program.
Rodriguez is an award-winning Chicano poet and author who broke free from gang life in the barrio of East Los Angeles. His latest book, “It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions and Healing” explores the despair of gang life and poverty and is a sequel to the book he wrote after his son joined a gang.
“Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.”, a memoir about Rodriguez’s gang life, is a New York Times Notable Book and has received a Carl Sandburg Literary Award.
In addition to his work as an author, Rodriguez is also responsible for helping to start the Chicago Guild Complex, one of the largest literary arts organizations in the Midwest; Youth Struggling for Survival, a Chicago-based non-profit community group, which helps gang and non-gang youth; and other various organizations.
“Art is the heart’s explosion on the world. There is probably no more powerful force for change in this uncertain and crisis-ridden world than young people and their art. It is the consciousness of the world breaking away from the strangle grip of an archaic social order,” Rodriguez said.
When: Two Lectures will be held October 4 at 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Where: Ann & Steve Morgan Auditorium University of La Verne – 1950 Third St. La Verne, CA 91750
Details: The OneBook, One University program promotes reading and the discussion of diverse perspectives as a common intellectual experience, teaches writing as a way of learning through reflection, and encourages civic communication while actively engaged in the world.