MacArthur Fellows Program

Sandra Cisneros

Writer | Class of 1995

San Antonio, Texas
41 at time of award
Published July 1, 1995

About Sandra's Work

Sandra Cisneros is a novelist, a poet, a short story writer, and an essayist whose work gives voice to working-class Latino and Latina life in America.

Her lyrical, realistic work blends aspects of “high” and popular culture.  Her novel, The House on Mango Street (1983), takes the form of a series of vignettes told from the perspective of a young girl growing up in Chicago.  Cisneros’ subsequent novel, Caramelo (2002), tells the story of four generations of a Mexican American family, moving back and forth in time and between locations from Chicago to Mexico City.


Cisneros’ additional works of fiction include Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (1991) and a children’s book, Hairs/Pelitos (1994).  She is the author of three volumes of poetry: Bad Boys (1980), My Wicked, Wicked Ways (1987), and Loose Woman (1994).  Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages.  She has been a visiting professor at a number of universities, including the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Michigan, and has worked as an arts administrator, a college recruiter, and a teacher and counselor for high school dropouts.

Cisneros received a B.A. (1976) from Loyola University in Chicago and an M.F.A. (1978) from the University of Iowa.

Last updated January 1, 2005

Select News Coverage of Sandra Cisneros
February 13, 2020
"My Greatest Inheritance? A Peanut Butter Taco"
Bon App├ętit
Sandra Cisneros , 1995 MacArthur Fellow
February 20, 2019
"Sandra Cisneros"
Chicago Magazine
Sandra Cisneros , 1995 MacArthur Fellow
December 19, 2018
Reflections on Writing and Creativity
MacArthur Fellow and writer Sandra Cisneros reflects on her career and inspiration and what creativity requires of artists.
September 6, 2017
"Sandra Cisneros Defines What It Means To Be A Chingona"
Huffington Post
Sandra Cisneros , 1995 MacArthur Fellow
February 2, 2017
"Sandra Cisneros: Telling the Truth in Poetry and Prose"
Literary Hub
Sandra Cisneros , 1995 MacArthur Fellow
August 31, 2016
"A Rare Q&A with Sandra Cisneros"
San Antonio Current
Sandra Cisneros , 1995 MacArthur Fellow
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