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         PUERTO RICAN LITERATURE IN THE UNITED STATES        
LITERATURA PUERTORRIQUEÑA EN ESTADOS UNIDOS

Judith Ortiz Cofer

Principal Arriba Her works Links

Latina Women Writers in the United States               -                    U.S. Latino/a Literature

BIOGRAPHY - CRITICISM

bulletJudith Ortiz Cofer's complete vita, at her webpage

"At three or four o'clock in the afternoon, the hour of cafe con leche, the women of my family gathered in Mama's living room to speak of important things and to tell stories for the hundredth time, as if to each other, meant to be overheard by us young girls, their daughters?"

This quotation comes from the beginning of Silent Dancing: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood by Judith Ortiz Cofer. Silent Dancing is a collection of semi-autobiographical essays. In Cofer's own words, it is a collection of short pieces of "creative non-fiction" (Ocasio 737). Ortiz Cofer defines herself primarily as an artist. In her works, she explores what it means to be a writer in the face of negotiating what it means to be a Puerto Rican, an American, and a woman. Creating individual and community identities is a key aspect of Ortiz Cofer's life as an author. She is interested in the creative process and giving voice to the many characters in her life.

Judith Ortiz Cofer was born in Hormingueros, Puerto Rico on February 24, 1952. Her mother was a young bride and her father was in the US Navy. She spent her formative years being shuttled between Puerto Rico and Paterson, New Jersey, where her father was stationed. Anytime her father was on extended leave, Ortiz Cofer and her family went back to "the island" to spend time in her Grandmother's casa, house. In her Grandmother's, or Mama's, casa, she was introduced to the many cuentos, or tales, of her family. These cuentos provided Ortiz Cofer with her passion for storytelling.

Ortiz Cofer's mother tried hard to maintain her island heritage; she always viewed herself as being in temporary isolation when she found herself on the mainland. She held fast to the traditions and family values she knew well. Ortiz Cofer's father, on the other hand, thought that in order for his children to have the best educational and career opportunities, he had to fight hard to disassociate himself from his beloved island. He didn't want them to have the limited choices that he perceived himself to have been faced with as a boy coming into adulthood. These two opposing worldviews created a disconnect that Ortiz Cofer attempts to resolve through her writing.

Ortiz Cofer was educated primarily in the US, except for her first two years of school. Most of her primary and all of her secondary education was completed in the States. Her formative years were spent in public school; in the sixth grade, she entered a private, Catholic school. After riots broke out in 1968, near their home in Paterson, her family relocated to Georgia where she finished her last two years of high school. She received her B.A in English at Augusta College in 1974. She went on to receive her Masters in English at Florida Atlantic University in 1977. During this time, she attended a graduate summer program at the prestigious Oxford University where she was an English Speaking Union of America Fellow.

Ortiz Cofer has been awarded national fellowships and grants by the Fine Arts Council (1980), National Endowment for the Arts (1989), the Witter Bynner Foundation (1988) and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference (1987). Her first novel, In the Line of the Sun, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1989. Subsequently, the novel was named one of the "Twenty-five most Memorable Books" of that same year. One of her collections of poetry, Peregrina (1986), was a winning manuscript in the Riverstone International Chapbook Competition. She has also won the Pushcart Prize (1990), O. Henry Prize (1994), Anisfield Wolf Award (1994) and Christ-Janner Award for Creative Research (1998), along with many other awards and prizes. In the spring of 2001, she acted as a visiting writer at Vanderbilt University.

It wasn't until Ortiz Cofer had finished her Masters thesis that she really began to explore the possibility of becoming a writer. During her extensive research, she found herself overcome with the need to write a quick poem or story line on the back of her index cards. Frustrated and disturbed by the idea that something was missing from her life, she felt that these outbursts of creativity brought her closer to understanding the crux of these feelings. Ortiz Cofer states, "It wasn't until I traced this feeling to its source that I discovered both the cause and answer to my frustration: I needed to write" (The Latin Deli, 166). Shortly after, encouraged by a colleague, she sent out a poem and it was published. Poetry is Ortiz Cofer's first love, but she does not always adhere to its boundaries. She finds her voice through the use of a variety of genres. Over the years, she has created poems, essays, novels, short stories and works of creative non-fiction. According to Ortiz Cofer, "The decision about genre is made when I sit down and decide the parameters of what I'm writing" (Kallet, 75). Her ability to move easily between genres mirrors her ability to adapt to her sometimes conflicting surroundings.

She uses this ability, along with explorations of language and memory, as tools to negotiate her own voice in the literary world. The power of words to transform and create meaning and identity are key themes that thread her works together. For Ortiz Cofer, words and meaning are intrinsically entwined with memory. In the beginning of Silent Dancing, Ortiz Cofer discusses the subjective nature of memory and the importance of claiming memories in order to make them your own. Ortiz Cofer uses the telling of her memories to represent an aspect of identity that is transitional and that molds with its context. Memory is dependent on the emotions of the individual during the process of recollection. The juxtaposition of Ortiz Cofer's memories in Silent Dancing provide insight to how Judith Ortiz Cofer defines herself.

Ortiz Cofer's explorations of identity formations are not only found in the context of her memories, but also exist in the spaces created between. Again, she uses language to decipher these spaces. Although she spent most of her childhood in the U.S., her home life acted as an anchor to her Puerto Rican past. Her mother was vigilant in keeping their home a microcosm of the island. Outside the home, Ortiz Cofer dealt in English, yet within the home her language was Spanish. Ortiz Cofer remembers that as a child, she often felt that neither language suited her. "I was constantly made to feel like an oddball by my peers, who made fun of my two-way accent: a Spanish accent when I spoke English; and, when I spoke Spanish, I was told that I sounded like a 'Gringa'" (Silent Dancing 17). Ortiz Cofer's two spoken languages never shed their inherent influence on each other. Although she writes in English, Ortiz Cofer often intersperses Spanish words throughout her texts, allowing the two languages to exist simultaneously. She creates an inter- or trans-lingual reality (Bruce-Novoa 94). Ortiz Cofer uses her writing to define herself in relation to the spaces between the cultures in which she finds herself. She draws on the power of language, genre, and memory to negotiate these liminal spaces.

Another important aspect of Ortiz Cofer's writing is her commitment to creating community. She not only uses her writing to carve out her own sense of identity, she also attempts to evoke similar responses in others. As she explains in Women in Front of the Sun, she seeks to inspire and move her readers, "My poetry, my stories, and my essays concern themselves with the coalescing of languages and cultures into a vision that had meaning first of all for me; then, if I am served well by my craft and the transformation occurs, it will also have meaning for others as art" (Women in Front of the Sun 120).

Currently, Ortiz Cofer lives with her husband, John Cofer, and has one daughter, Tanya. She is a Franklin Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Georgia. She continues to write and to receive high recognition for her work. She also travels extensively around the country, appearing as a keynote speaker or featured writer at a variety of institutions. Her novel The Meaning of Consuelo is set to be released in November 2003.

 

Judith Ortiz Cofer is the author of the forthcoming Call Me Maria, a young adult novel; The Meaning of Consuelo, a novel; Woman in Front of the Sun: On Becoming a Writer, a collection of essays; The Line of the Sun, a novel; Silent Dancing, a collection of essays and poetry; two books of poetry, Terms of Survival and Reaching for the Mainland; and The Latin Deli: Prose and Poetry. Her work has appeared in The Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Southern Review, Glamour and other journals. Her work has been included in numerous textbooks and anthologies including: Best American Essays 1991, The Norton Book of Women's Lives, The Norton Introduction to Literature, The Norton Introduction to Poetry, The Heath Anthology of American Literature, The Pushcart Prize, and the O. Henry Prize Stories.

The Meaning of Consuelo was selected as one of two winners of the 2003 Americas Award, sponsored by the National Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs, for U.S. published titles that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States.   The novel was also included on the New York Public Library's "Books for the Teen Age 2004 List."  A PEN/Martha Albrand Special Citation in non-fiction was awarded to Professor Cofer for Silent Dancing as well as the Anisfield Wolf Book Award for The Latin Deli, and her work has been selected for the Syndicated Fiction Project. She has received fellowships from the NEA and the Witter Bynner Foundation for poetry. A collection of short stories, An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio, was named a Best Book of the Year, 1995-96 by the American Library Association. It was awarded the first Pura Belpre medal by REFORMA of ALA in 1996. La linea del sol, the Spanish translation by Elena Olazagasti-Segovia of The Line of the Sun, was published in 1997 by the University of Puerto Rico Press. In 1998, The Year of Our Revolution: New and Selected Stories and Poems was awarded a Paterson Book Prize by the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College. The Spanish translation by Elena Olazagasti-Segovia of Silent Dancing, Bailando en silencio was published by Arte Publico Press in 1998.

She is the 1998 recipient of the Christ-Janner Award in Creative Research from the University of Georgia. The Rockerfeller Foundation awarded her a residency at the Bellagio, Italy Conference Center in 1999.  During spring 2001, she was Vanderbilt University’s Gertrude and Harold S. Vanderbilt Visiting Writer in Residence. Judith Ortiz Cofer is the Franklin Professor of English at the University of Georgia.

(From Voices from the Gaps)

Works by the Author:

The Meaning of Consuelo (novel), 2003.

Woman in Front of the Sun: On Becoming a Writer, University of Georgia Press, 2000. The Year of Our Revolution: New and Selected Stories and Poems, Arte Publico, 1998. An Island like You: Stories of the Barrio (young adult), Orchard Books (New York City), 1995.

The Latin Deli, University of Georgia Press, 1993 Silent Dancing: A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto Rican Childhood (personal essays), Arte Publico, 1990. The Line of the Sun (novel), University of Georgia Press (Athens, GA),1989. Terms of Survival (poems), Arte Publico (Houston, TX), 1987
Peregrina (poems), Riverstone Press (Golden, CO), 1986. Latin Women Pray (chapbook), Florida Arts Gazette Press, 1980. Among the Ancestors (chapbook), Louisville News Press, 1981. The Native Dancer (chapbook), Pteranodon Press, 1981
A Love Story Beginning in Spanish (2005)      
     

 

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY:

 

MY ARTICLES:

bulletDomínguez Miguela, Antonia. “Creando un puente entre las dos orillas: la identidad puertorriqueña y los espacios narrativos en la obra literaria de Judith Ortiz Cofer.” Literatura de las Américas, 1898-1998.  Vol. I. León: Universidad de León, 2000, p. 259-272. ISBN: 84-7719-786-5.
bullet---.  "En constante movimiento: La obra literaria de Judith Ortiz Cofer." en Pasajes de ida y vuelta: La narrativa puertorriqueña en Estados Unidos. Huelva: Servicio de publicaciones de la Universidad de Huelva, 2005.
bullet "Growing Up Latina in the United States: Julia Alvarez's How the García Girls Lost Thier Accents, Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street and Judith Ortiz Cofer's The Line of the Sun"

Works about the Author:

bulletAcosta-Belen, Edna. A MELUS interview: Judith Ortiz Cofer. (Poetry and Poetics), (Interview), MELUS 18.2 (Fall 1993): 83-98.
bulletAcosta-Belen, Edna. The Literature of the Puerto Rican National Minority in the United States. The Bilingual Review 5:1-2 (Jan.-Aug. 1978): 107-16.
bullet Vellón-Benítez, Susan.  Palabras de mujer: Convergencias en el discurso femenino en la narrativa caribeña de origen hispano escrita en los Estados Unidos.” Ph. D. Dissertation. Dep.. of Modern Languages, The Florida State University, 2003.130 pp
bulletBaker, Judy. The Unforgettable Images of Poet Judith Ortiz Cofer; Her Life in Cuentos and Poems.(Essay) The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education 13.10 (24 February 2003): 29.
bulletBost, Suzanne. Transgressing Borders: Puerto Rican and Latina Mestizaje. (Critical Essay). MELUS 25.2 (Summer 2001): 187-109.
bulletBruce-Novoa, Juan. Ritual in Judith Ortiz Cofer's The Line of the Sun. (Journal Article).? Confluencia:? Revista Hispanica de Cultura y Literatura 8.1 (Fall 1992): 61-69.
bulletBruce-Novoa, Juan. Judith Ortiz Cofer?s Rituals of Movement, (Critical Essay). The Americas Review 19.3-4 (1991): 88-99.
bulletDavis, Rocio G. Metanarrative in Ethnic Autobiography for Children: Laurence Yep's The Lost Garden and Judith Ortiz Cofer's Silent Dancing.(Critical Essay). MELUS 27.2 (Summer 2002): 139-158.
bulletFabre, Gloria. Liminality, In-Betweenness and Indeterminacy:? Notes toward an Anthropological Reading? of Judith Ortiz Cofer's The Line of the Sun."? (Journal Article). Annales du Centre de Recherches sur l'Amerique Anglophone 18 (1993): 223-232.
bulletFaymonville, Carmen. New Transnational Identities in Judith Ortiz Cofer?s Autobiographical Fiction. (Critical Essay). MELUS 26.2 (Summer 2001): 129-157.
bulletFaymonville, Carmen. "Motherland versus Daughterland in Judith Ortiz Cofer's The Line of the Sun." (Book Article) The Immigrant Experience in North American Literature: Carving Out a Niche. Editors Katherine B. Payant and Toby Rose. 1999
bulletGrobman, Laurie. "The Cultural Past and Artistic Creation in Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street and Judith Ortiz Cofer's Silent Dancing." (Journal Article). Confluencia: Revista Hispanica de Cultura y Literatura 11.1 (Fall 1995): 42-29.
bulletKallet, Marilyn. "The Art of Not Forgetting: An Interview with Judith Ortiz Cofer." (Interview) Prairie Schooner 68.4 (Winter 1994): 68-76.
bulletLee, Sarah. "A Contradiction in Terms: Athens Author Judith Ortiz Cofer Celebrates Her Multi-Cultural Heritage." Athens Daily News / Athens Banner Herald 26 November 2000: 1E.
bulletMaldonado-DeOliveira, Debora. "The Flying Metaphor: Travel, Cultural Memory, and Identity in Three Puerto Rican Texts." (Dissertation). University of Rochester. Dept. of Modern Languages and Cultures, 2000.
bulletOcasio, Rafael, "Puerto Rican Literature in Georgia: An interview with Judith Ortiz Cofer." (Interview), The Kenyon Review 14.4 (Fall 1992): 43-51.
bulletOcasio, Rafael. "The infinite variety of the Puerto Rican reality: an interview with Judith Ortiz Cofer." (Special Issue: Puerto Rican Women Writers) (Interview) Callaloo 17.3 (Summer 1994): 730-742.
bulletPiedra, Jose. "His and Her Panics." (Journal Article). Dispositio: Revista Americana de Estudios Comparados y Culturales/American Journal of Comparative and Cultural Studies 16.41 (1991): 71-93.
bulletRangil, Viviana. "Pro-Claiming a Space: The Poetry of Sandra Cisneros and Judith Ortiz Cofer." (Critical Essay). Multicultural Review 9.3 (September 2000): 48-51; 54-55.
bulletCasebook:  Judith Ortiz Cofer.  Prentice Hall Literature Portfolio.  Eds. Christy Desmet, D. Alexis Hart, and Deborah Church Miller.  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2007.  1284-86.
bullet"An Interview with Judith Ortiz Cofer" conducted by Prentice Hall.  Prentice Hall Literature:  World Masterpieces.  Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2007.  1142-43.
bulletJago, Carol.  Judith Ortiz Cofer in the Classroom:  A Woman in Front of the Sun.  The NCTE High School Literature Series.  Urbana, IL:  National Council of Teachers of English, 2006.  (Introduction available at http://www.english.uga.edu/~jcofer/JagoIntroduction)
bulletGregg, Julia.  "Images of home conjured in New York deli aisle."  Evansville [IN] Courier Press 13 Aug. 2006.  [Refers to poem "The Latin Deli."]  Available at http://www.courierpress.com/news/2006/aug/13/images-of-home-conjured-in-new-york-deli-aisle/
bulletNorat, Gisella.  Review of El Año de nuestra Revolución.  Críticas 15 May 2006.
bulletJones, Sara Askew. "Living in Harmony."  Southern Living Apr. 2006 (Georgia Living section) :  42-47.
bullet"International diversity office initiates student advisory board and book club spotlighting UGA faculty authors."  Diversity at UGA 5.2 (Spring 2006):  2.
bulletBolling, Annie.  "Stories of Our World."  Teaching Tolerance Spring 2006:  8-9.
bullet"Interview:  Cofer."  Seeing & Writing 3.  Eds. Donald McQuade and Christine McQuade.  Boston:  Bedford/St. Martin's, 2006.  351.
bullet"Professor's poetry book bridges two worlds."  Review of A Love Story Beginning in Spanish.  Columns 20 Feb. 2006.
bulletDeroshia, Elizabeth.  Review of A Love Story Beginning in Spanish.  The Georgia Library Quarterly Fall 2005.
bullet"Author Interview:  Judith Ortiz Cofer."  Conducted by Christine McQuade, 2005.  http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/seeingandwriting3/interviews/interview3.asp
bulletGonzález, Rigoberto.  "Many love stories emerge from this poet's fine collection."  Review of A Love Story Beginning in Spanish.  El Paso Times 19 Dec. 2005.
bulletSeagraves, Donny.  "Writing in English, Dreaming in Spanish."  Features discussion of A Love Story Beginning in Spanish and an interview with Judith Ortiz Cofer.  Athens Magazine Aug. 2005:  80-81.
bulletNewton, Pauline T.  Transcultural Women of Late-Twentieth-Century U.S. American Literature.  Burlington, VT:  Ashgate Publishing, 2005.  Features discussion of Silent Dancing, The Latin Deli, and Woman in Front of the Sun and an interview with Judith Ortiz Cofer.
bulletChristian, B. Maria.  Belief in Dialogue:  U. S. Latina Writers Confront Their Religious Heritage.  New York:  Other Press, 2005.  Discusses several of Judith Ortiz Cofer's poems as well as The Line of the Sun and Silent Dancing.
bulletLee, Michael George.  An Analysis of the Literature on Christian Practices and Popular Religion:  Implications for Latino/a Religious Education in the United States.  [Dissertation] 2005.  Discusses "El Olvido" from Silent Dancing.
bulletWelsch, Camille-Yvette.  Review of A Love Story Beginning in Spanish.  ForeWord May/June 2005.
bulletReview of Call Me Maria.  School Library Journal 51 (Spring 2005 supplement):  46.
bulletReview of Riding Low on the Streets of Gold.  School Library Journal 51 (Spring 2005 supplement):  66.
 
bulletJago, Carol.  "Call Me Ishmael, I Mean, Maria."  Classroom Notes Plus:  A Quarterly of Teaching Ideas Apr. 2005:  1-2.
bulletReview of Call Me Maria.  Library Media Connection 23.6 (Mar. 2005):  66.
bulletIsaacs, Kathleen T.  Review of The Meaning of Consuelo.  School Library Journal 51 (Mar. 2005):  69.
bullet"Celebrate Poetry!"  Announcement of Judith Ortiz Cofer's receipt of the 2004 Americas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature.  The Council Chronicle Mar. 2005: 10.
bulletRivera, Camen Haydee.  "Judith Ortiz Cofer."  [Biographical Essay.]  Latino and Latina Writers, Vol. 2.  The Scribner's Writers Series.  New York:  Charles Scribner's Sons, 2004.  917-933.
bulletAdams, Lauren.  Review of Call Me Maria.  Horn Book Magazine 81 (Jan./Feb. 2005):  90.
bulletMattson, Jennifer.  Review of Call Me Maria.  Booklist 101.7 (1 Dec. 2004):  647.
bulletReview of Call Me Maria.  Library Journal 50 (Nov. 2004):  138.
bulletReview of Call Me Maria.  Kirkus Reviews 72 (15 Oct. 2004):  1003.
bulletPowers, Jessica.  Review of Riding Low on the Streets of Gold.  NewPages.com:  Alternatives in Print & Media.  http://www.newpages.com/bookreviews/archive/riding_low_streets_of_gold.htm
bulletJago, Carol.  Discussion of The Meaning of Consuelo in "Broadening Students' Point of V iew One First-Person Narrator at a Time."  Voices from the Middle 12.1 (Sept. 2004):  54-55.
bulletMujica, Barbara.  "Women Out of the Ordinary."  Features review of The Meaning of Consuelo.  Americas 56.4 (July/Aug. 2004):  59-60.
bulletReyna, Bessy.  Review of The Meaning of Consuelo.  Multicultural Review Summer 2004:  97.
bulletPlevak, Linda L.  Review of Riding Low on the Streets of Gold:  Latino Literature for Young Adults.  School Library Journal June 2004.
bulletHoffman, Marvin.  Review of Riding Low on the Streets of Gold:  Latino Literature for Young Adults.  Houston Chronicle 9 May 2004:  21-22.
bulletCasanova-Marengo, Ilia. "Los Simbolos de la Abuela Que Son Tambien Los Deseos del Corazon:  En Torno A 'Mas Espacio'."  Contains discussion of Silent Dancing and The Latin Deli.  Dialogo Spring 2004, no. 8.  83-87.
bulletReview of The Meaning of Consuelo.  Islands Jan./Feb. 2004:  24-25.
bulletReview of Riding Low on the Streets of Gold.  Publishers Weekly 12 Jan. 2004.
 
bulletSpicer, Emily.  Review of The Meaning of Consuelo.  San Antonio Express-News 4 January 2004.
bulletMaldonado, Patricia.  Review of The Meaning of Consuelo.  Hispanic Magazine  16 (2003): 58.
bulletWatrous, Malena.  Review of The Meaning of Consuelo.  The San Francisco Chronicle 21 December 2003:  M5.
bulletFord, Wayne.  "For UGA English Professor Judith Ortiz Cofer, Writing is Art."  Interview and Discussion of The Meaning of Consuelo.  The Athens Banner-Herald 14 Dec. 2003.
bulletFisher, Barbara.  Review of The Meaning of Consuelo.  The Boston Globe 30 Nov. 2003.
bulletSandoval, Emiliana.  Review of The Meaning of Consuelo.  Detroit Free Press 9 Nov. 2003.
bulletPerez, Richard.  Review of The Meaning of Consuelo.  New York Post 12 Nov. 2003:  56.
bulletWeaver, Teresa.  "A Talent for Language:  Deft Communication Skills Grow from a Bicultural Life."  Interview and Discussion of The Meaning of Consuelo.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 2 Nov. 2003:  C2.
bulletBenson, Mary Margaret.  Review of The Meaning of Consuelo.  Library Journal 128 (1 Nov. 2003):  126.
bulletSeaman, Donna.  Review of The Meaning of Consuelo.  Booklist 100 (2003):  299.
bulletReview of The Meaning of Consuelo.  Kirkus Reviews 14. Sept. 2003:  1141.
bulletZaleski, Jeff.  Review of The Meaning of Consuelo.  Publishers Weekly 250 (11 Aug. 2003):  252.
bullet"Judith Ortiz Cofer."  Interview in A Poet's Truth:  Conversations with Latino/Latina Poets..  Ed. Bruce Allen Dick.  Tucson:  University of Arizona Press, 2003.  106-122.
bulletReview of The Year of Our Revolution:  New and Selected Stories and Poems.  Multicultural Review 12 (June 2003).
bulletDavis, Rocio G.  "Metanarrative in Ethnic Autobiography for Children:  Laurence Yep's The Lost Garden and Judith Ortiz Cofer's Silent Dancing."  MELUS 27 (Summer 2002):  139.
bulletDelgado, Teresa.  "Prophesy Freedom:  Puerto Rican Women's Literature as a Source for Latina Feminist Theology."  In A Reader in Latina Feminist Theology:  Religion and Justice.  Eds. Maria Pilar Aquino, Daisy Machado, and Jeanette Rodriguez.  Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2002.  23-52.
bulletWebster, Joan Parker.  "Silent Dancing:  A Storyteller's Memories."  In Teaching Through Culture:  Strategies for Reading and Responding to Young Adult Literature.  Houston:  Arte Publico Press, 2002.  12-39.
bullet Irizarry, Ylce.  Making it Home:  The Neo-Colonial Ethics of Chicano and Latino Literature After Arrival (Junot Diaz, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Denise Chaven, Elias Miguel Munoz, Demetria Martinez).  2002.  [dissertation] 
 
bullet Newton, Pauline T.  Transcultural Women of Late Twentieth-Century American Literature:  First-Generation Immigrants from Islands and Peninsulas (Judith Ortiz Cofer, Julia Alvarez, Jamaica Kincaid, Antigua, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Lan Cao).  2002.  [dissertation]
 
bullet Torrey, Maria Victoria.  Puerto Rican Authors:  Voicing Identity in Puerto Rican Literature (Piri Thomas, Nicholasa Mohr, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Esmeralda Santiago).  2002.  [dissertation]
bullet Sanchez-Gonzalez, Lisa.  “'I Like to be in America (sic):  Three Women’s Texts.”  Boricua Literature  New York:  New York University Press, 2001.  134-60.
bullet Lopez, Iraida H.  "Formas femeninas de la biculturacion:  Borderlands/La Frontera y Silent Dancing." Letras Femeninas 27.2 (Fall 2001):  85-101.
bullet"Poet's Choice:  Rita Dove."  Washington Post 8 July 2001:  BW12.
bullet Faymonville, Carmen.  “New Transnational Identities in Judith Ortiz Cofer’s Autobiographical Fiction.” MELUS 26 (Summer 2001):  129-59.
 
bulletReview of Woman in Front of the Sun in Virginia Quarterly Review 77 (Summer 2001):  97.
bullet Concanon, Kevin.  “Writing Under the Gaze of the Witch:  Exile and Authorship in Judith Ortiz Cofer’s The Line of the Sun."  Confluencia 16 (Spring 2001):  71-82.
bullet"Three Books Published By UGA Press Win Honors."  Athens Banner-Herald and Athens Daily News 27 Mar. 2001.
bulletPacheco, Teresa.  Review of Woman in Front of the Sun:  On Becoming A Writer.  The Georgia Library Quarterly Winter 2000:  29.
bulletMaldonado-DeOliveira, Debora.  The Flying Metaphor:  Travel, Cultural Memory, and Identity in Three Puerto Rican Texts.  2000.  [dissertation]
bulletNoguera, Nancy Soledad.  Nocion, desplazamiento y genero en la escritura autobiografica de Esmerelda Santiago y  Judith Ortiz Cofer.  2000.  [dissertation]
 
bulletViviana, Rangil.  "Pro-Claiming a Space:  The Poetry of Sandra Cisneros and Judith Ortiz Cofer."  Multicultural  Review 9.3 (2000):   48-51, 54-55.
bulletReview of Woman in Front of the Sun:  On Becoming a Writer.  Library Journal 1 Sept. 2000.
bulletReview of The Year of Our Revolution:  New and Selected Stories and Poems.  Puffin Books September-December 2000.
bullet"By and For Writers:  Sleeping With One Eye Open."  [review] Chicago Tribune.  16 Apr. 2000.
bullet"Judith Cofer Named Franklin Professor."  The Franklin Chronicle 3 (Spring 2000) : 1, 6.
bulletFaymonville, Carmen.  "Motherland versus Daughterland in Judith Ortiz Cofer's The Line of the Sun."  The Immigrant Experience in North American Literature:  Carving Out a Niche.  Eds.  Katherine B. Payant and Toby  Rose.  1999.
bulletReview of Silent Dancing:  A Partial Remembrance of a Puerto-Rican Childhood.   Small Press Distribution, Books For Teens, 1999.
bulletColley, Rae M. Carlton. Review of the career of Judith Ortiz Cofer. Contemporary Southern Writers.  Ed. Roger Matuz. Detroit, London: St. James Press, 1999. 78-81.
bulletReview of The Year of Our Revolution:  New and Selected Stories and Poems.  Voya June 1999.
bulletFoster, Elaine Dunphy.  Review of The Year of Our Revolution:  New and Selected Stories and Poems.  Multicultural Review June 1999. 
 
bulletMaldonado, Sheila. Review of The Year of Our Revolution: New and Selected Stories and Poems.  Latingirl Magazine Apr./May 1999.
bullet"Book Marker: Judith Ortiz Cofer" Latingirl Aug.-Sept. 1999:  82.
bulletKarr, Paul. "Quilting of Cultures."  The University of Georgia Research Reporter 28.1 (Fall 1998):  15-18.
bulletMontgomery, Cindy. "Writer Judith Ortiz Cofer Engages Students." English Department Newsletter. Spring/Summer 1998.  Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Virginia.
bullet"And May He Be Bilingual: Notes on Writing, Teaching, and Multiculturalism."  Women/Writing/ Teaching.  Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1998. 103-108.
bulletDavidson, Phebe. "Judith Ortiz Cofer: Drawn to the Outsider."  Conversations with the World: American Women Poets and Their Work. Pasadena, California: Trilogy Books, 1998. 1-36.
bulletBartkevicius, Jocelyn. "An Interview with Judith Ortiz Cofer."  Speaking of the Short Story: Interviews with Comtemporary Writers. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi, 1997. 57-74.
bullet Gordon, Stephanie. "An Interview With Judith Cofer." The AWP Chronicle 30.2 (1997):  Cover--9.
bulletHenneberg, Sylvia, University of Georgia. "The Convergence of Marginal and Mainstream Discourses: Judith Ortiz Cofer's Terms of Survival." Paper presented at the seventh annual American Women of Color Conference, October 31, 1997.
bulletBerg, Christine G. "`That ain't nothing but gin-talk': Storytelling in Judith Ortiz Cofer's Silent Dancing and August Wilson's Fences." Paper presented at the seventh annual American Women of Color Conference, November 1, 1997.
bulletHernandez, Carmen Dolores. "Where is home? I want to go there."  Puerto Rican Voices: Interviews with Writers. Westport, CT and London: Praeger Publishers, 1997:  95-105.
bulletOcasio, Rafael. "From Nuyorican Barrio Literature to Issues on Puerto Rican Literature Outside New York City: Nicholasa Mohr and Judith Ortiz Cofer."  Literature and Ethnic Discrimination.  Ed. Michael J. Meyer.  Rodopi Perspectives on Modern Literature.  1997.
bulletKanellos, Nicolas, editor. Article on life and work. The Hispanic Literary Companion. Detroit, New York, Toronto, London: Visible Ink Press, 1997.  229-236.
bulletGibson, Lois Rauch.  "From the Island to the Barrio: Biculturalism in the Books of Judith Ortiz Cofer." Paper presented at Children's Literature Association Conference. Charlotte, S.C. 1996.
bulletChick, Nancy L.  "Judith Ortiz Cofer: Creating a Space for Puerto Rican Womanhood." Paper presented at Sixth National American Women Writers of Color Conference. Salisbury State University, Ocean City, MD. October 11-13, 1996.
bullet"Maxine Hong Kingston and Judith Ortiz Cofer: Interrogating the Ethnocentrism of the Archetypal Floral Symbol of Womanhood." Women's Studies Panel of the 1996 SAMLA Convention. Savannah, GA. November 8-10, 1996.
bulletCooley, Tom, editor. Selected interview for The Norton Sampler.  New York:  W.W. Norton and Co. 1996.
bulletRuiz, Sandra Gutierrez. "Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Language as Components of U.S. Identity Revealed in Three U.S. Latina Novels."  [Master's Thesis]  1996.
bulletChick, Nancy. Chapter in UGA dissertation, Department of English, portions of which have been accepted for publication in various journals.
bulletWorks listed in 500 Great Books by Women: A Reader's Guide, an annotated bibliography, forthcoming from Viking Penguin.
bulletEntry on The Line of the Sun in Masterplots II: Women's Literature.  Ed. Frank Magill.  New York: Salem Press, 1995.  1309-1313.
bulletGrobman, Laurie.  "The Cultural Past and Artistic Creation in Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street and  Judith Ortiz Cofer's Silent Dancing."  Confluencia:  Revista Hispanica de Cultura y Literatura 11.1 (1995) : 42-29.
bulletEntry in Dictionary of Hispanic Biography.  Gale Research, Inc., 1995.
bulletOcasio, Rafael. "An Interview with Judith Ortiz Cofer." The Americas Review 22.3-4 (1994):  84-90.
bulletEntry in Reference Guide to American Literature, 3rd ed. Ed. Jim Kamp. Detroit: St. James Press, 1994. 203-205.
bullet"The Poetry of Judith Ortiz Cofer." Masterpieces of Latino Literature. Ed. Frank Magill. New York: Harper Collins, 1994. 452-456.
bulletNoras, Himlice.  Entry in Everything You Need to Know About Latino History. New York: Plume, 1994. 295.
bulletOcasio, Rafael. "The Infinite Variety of the Puerto Rican Reality."  Callaloo: A Journal of African Arts and Letters 17.3 (Summer 1994): 730-42.
bulletBellver, Pilar.  Paper on Silent Dancing presented at Fifth International Conference of the Association of Hispanic Feminist Literature, Oct. 20-22, 1994, Davidson College, N.C.
bulletStavans, Ilan. "Art and Anger." Essay/Review of The Latin Deli in These Times 18.18 (25 Jul. 1994): 32-34.
 
bulletShuman, R. Baird. Essay on body of work in Magill's Survey of American Literature 1994: 2330-2337.
bulletShearron, Betsy. Profile in The Athens Observer: Woman 94, Special Issue, (31 Jul. 1994): 25.
bulletLynch, Amy. Interview in Touchstone: The Magazine of the Tennessee Humanities Council 25 (Winter 1994): 5-7.
bullet Acosta-Belen, Edna. Interview in Melus: The Journal of the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States 18:3 (1993): 83-97.
bulletSutton, Laura. Article in Flagpole Magazine 7.45 (8 Dec. 1993): 11.
bulletRose, Phyllis. "Writing Our Own Lives." Ms. 4.2 (Nov. 1993): 78.
bulletListing in Contemporary Authors, New revision series, Vol. 32, 1993.
bulletLumpkin, Lisa. Interview for The Habersham Review, Piedmont College 2.2 (Autumn 1993): 132-147.
bulletFabre, Genevieve.  "Liminality, In-Betweenness and Indeterminacy:  Notes toward an Anthropological Reading  of Judith Ortiz Cofer's The Line of the Sun."  Annales du Centre de Recherches sur l'Amerique Anglophone 18 (1993) :  223-32.
bulletGregory, Lucille H.  "The Puerto Rican 'Rainbow':  Distortion vs. Complexities."  Children's Literature Association Quarterly 18.1 (1993 Spring) : 29-35.
bulletFuentes, Carlos. "The Mirror of the Other." The Nation 30 Mar. 1992: 409.
bulletOcasio, Rafael. "Judith Ortiz Cofer: Diglosia y Narrativa Puertorriquena en Los EEUU." "El Poder Hispano," the International Congress of Hispanic Cultures in the United States. Madrid, Spain. 10 July 1992. A scholarly paper presented by Professor Ocasio of Agnes Scott College, Department of Spanish.
bullet Ocasio, Rafael and Rita Ganey. "Speaking in Puerto Rican: An Interview with Judith Ortiz Cofer." The Bilingual Review 17.2 (1992): 143-46.
bullet Ocasio, Rafael. "Puerto Rican Literature in Georgia?"  The Kenyon Review 14.4 (1992): 43-50.
bulletBruce-Novoa, Juan. "Ritual in Judith Ortiz Cofer's The Line of the Sun." Confluencia 8.1 (1992): 61-69.
bulletLawhn, Juanita Luna. San Antonio College, entry in the Oxford Companion to Women's Writing in the United States, forthcoming.
bulletBruce-Novoa, Juan, University of California, Irvine. "Judith Ortiz Cofer's Rituals of Movement." The Americas Review 19.34 (1991): 88-99.
bulletPiedra, Jose.  "His and Her Panics."  Dispositio:  Revista Americana de Estudios  Comparados y  Culturales/American Journal of Comparative and Cultural Studies 16.41   (1991) : 71-93.
bullet MELUS article: New transnational identities in Judith Ortiz Cofer's autobiographical fiction - Critical Essay by Carmen Faymonville
bullet Don't Misread My Signals"--"Hers" Column from Glamour Magazine
bulletCofer's latest collection The Latin Deli (review and description)
bulletA fairly recent and very well known essay: "I'm Latina Wherever I Am"
A poem: "How to Get a Baby
bulletShort Bio and "chat" with grade school readers
bulletExcerpt from Cofer's essay"Silent Dancing: A Partial Rememberance of a Puerto Rican Childhood" (taken off a course assignment page)

 

RELATED LINKS

 

bullet

A Casa of my Own, a video of a public lecture

bullet

"Don't Misread My Signals"

bullet

Health  entry on Judith Ortiz Cofer with a suggested reading guide

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The Chelsea Forum page on Judith Ortiz Cofer

bullet

Bibliography of articles and reviews on her work


 

INTERVIEWS:

bullet

A Melus Interview with Judit Ortiz Cofer by Edna Acosta Belén

bullet

An Interview with Judith Ortiz Cofer by Stephanie Gordon

bullet

Speaking in Puerto Rican: An Interview with Judith Ortiz Cofer by Rafael Ocasio and Rita Ganey

bullet

Puerto Rican Literature in Gerogia? An Interview with Judith Ortiz Cofer by Rafael Ocasio

bullet

Possibilities for Salsa Music in the Mainstream: An Interview with Judith Ortiz Cofer by Lorraine M. López
 

 

SHORT BIOGRAPHY

Judith Ortiz Cofer is the author of the forthcoming Call Me Maria, a young adult novel; The Meaning of Consuelo, a novel; Woman in Front of the Sun: On Becoming a Writer, a collection of essays; The Line of the Sun, a novel; Silent Dancing, a collection of essays and poetry; two books of poetry, Terms of Survival and Reaching for the Mainland; and The Latin Deli: Prose and Poetry. Her work has appeared in The Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Southern Review, Glamour and other journals. Her work has been included in numerous textbooks and anthologies including: Best American Essays 1991, The Norton Book of Women's Lives, The Norton Introduction to Literature, The Norton Introduction to Poetry, The Heath Anthology of American Literature, The Pushcart Prize, and the O. Henry Prize Stories.

The Meaning of Consuelo was selected as one of two winners of the 2003 Americas Award, sponsored by the National Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs, for U.S. published titles that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States.   The novel was also included on the New York Public Library's "Books for the Teen Age 2004 List."  A PEN/Martha Albrand Special Citation in non-fiction was awarded to Professor Cofer for Silent Dancing as well as the Anisfield Wolf Book Award for The Latin Deli, and her work has been selected for the Syndicated Fiction Project. She has received fellowships from the NEA and the Witter Bynner Foundation for poetry. A collection of short stories, An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio, was named a Best Book of the Year, 1995-96 by the American Library Association. It was awarded the first Pura Belpre medal by REFORMA of ALA in 1996. La linea del sol, the Spanish translation by Elena Olazagasti-Segovia of The Line of the Sun, was published in 1997 by the University of Puerto Rico Press. In 1998, The Year of Our Revolution: New and Selected Stories and Poems was awarded a Paterson Book Prize by the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College. The Spanish translation by Elena Olazagasti-Segovia of Silent Dancing, Bailando en silencio was published by Arte Publico Press in 1998.

She is the 1998 recipient of the Christ-Janner Award in Creative Research from the University of Georgia. The Rockerfeller Foundation awarded her a residency at the Bellagio, Italy Conference Center in 1999.  During spring 2001, she was Vanderbilt University’s Gertrude and Harold S. Vanderbilt Visiting Writer in Residence. Judith Ortiz Cofer is the Franklin Professor of English at the University of Georgia.

 

 

 

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