The Chicano poet, Gary Soto, was born into a working-class Mexican-American family on April 12th, 1952 in Fresno, California. Throughout his childhood, Soto was obliged to help his parents and many other workers in the fields of Fresno as that was their only source of income as he began his early interest in English literature. Soto became so invested in this literature, that it led him to attend Fresno City College which he then transferred to California State University-Fresno to earn his MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) in literature. Within his last year in college, Soto had written his first collective poetry book entitled, “The Elements of San Joaquin” which won him a United States Award of the International Poetry Forum which led to the critical acclaim of his written poetry and was later published only a year after in 1977. Soon after, Gary wrote more books of poetry such as, “A Simple Plan” (2007) and “New and Selected” (1995) of which was nominated for the National Book Award. Soto takes pride in accrediting his inspiration through several Chicano writers such as Paul Neruda and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
This is narrative is written by Masen Alemán, MAS Student..
Photo courtesy of Masen Alemán. Permission for story provided by Masen Alemán. All rights reserved by Masen Alemán.