Sandra Cisneros was born on December 20, 1954 in Chicago, Illinois. Although her parents met in Chicago, they were both from Mexico. They had seven children, but Cisneros was the only girl. When Cisneros was ten years old, she wrote her first poem. Cisneros attended Loyola University of Chicago. She graduated in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Cisneros continued on to the University of Iowa where she graduated in 1978 with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing. After Cisneros graduated with her second degree, she returned to Chicago. She became a teacher and counselor at the Latino Youth Alternative High School, where she taught students that dropped out of school. A few years later, Cisneros returned to Loyola University of Chicago as an administrative assistant. The first book Cisneros published was a short book of poetry called Bad Boys in 1980. Four years later, she published a fiction novel called The House on Mango Street in 1984, that would go on to become one of her most famous writings, winning the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. It has sold over six million copies and has been translated into over twenty languages. Cisneros kept writing poems, short stories, and novels in both Spanish and English. In 1994 Cisneros wrote her first children’s book called Hairs/Pelitos which was written in both Spanish and English. That same year, she wrote another book of poetry called Loose Woman that won the Mountains & Plains Booksellers’ Award. She wrote her second novel in 2002 that was called Caramelo. This book won the Premio Napoli award. On September 22, 2016, President Barack Obama presented Cisneros with the National Medal of Arts for her work. Cisneros has continued to make a positive impact on her community by starting the Macondo Foundation and the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation for writers. Cisneros currently lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico with her four dogs.
"You have to use negative emotions to make something positive."