Jimmy Santiago Baca
Jimmy Santiago Baca is an award-winning American poet and writer of Chicano descent. While serving a five-year sentence in a maximum security prison, he learned to read and began to turn his life around, eventually emerging as a prolific artist of the spoken and written word. He is a winner of the prestigious International Award for his memoir, “A Place to Stand,” the story of which is now also a documentary of the same title.
In 1987, his semi-autobiographical minor epic in verse, Martin & Meditations on the South Valley, received the American Book Award for poetry, bringing Baca international acclaim. A self-styled “poet of the people,” Baca conducts writing workshops with children and adults around the country. In 2004 Baca started a non-profit organization, Cedar Tree, Inc., that supports these workshops through charitable donations.