Celebrated Poet Jimmy Santiago Baca to Visit and Discuss "A Glass of Water"

The public is invited to attend a reception and book reading with poet, novelist and memoirist Jimmy Santiago Baca on Thursday, March 11, 2010, in Hennessy Hall (The Mansion), on Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College at Florham, 285 Madison Avenue, Madison, N.J.  This first reading from his new novel, “A Glass of Water” (2009) is at 3:30 p.m. Another opportunity to greet the author is in the Coffee House, Student Center at 7 p.m.  Both events are free and open to the public.

“A Glass of Water” (2009) is a gripping tale of family, loyalty, ambition and revenge, and offers a glimpse into the tragedies unfurling at and around our country’s borders.

Baca’s early years were those of hardship.  Born in New Mexico of Indio-Mexican descent, he was raised by his grandmother and then sent to an orphanage from which he ran away at the age of thirteen. When sentenced to a maximum-security prison for five years, he began to turn his life around. He learned to read and write and found a passion for poetry.  His first poems were published the year he was released from prison. His work has netted him a Pushcart Prize, the American Book Award, the National Poetry Award, the International Hispanic Heritage Award, and the prestigious International Award for his memoir “A Place to Stand.”

Baca has devoted his post-prison life to writing and teaching others who are overcoming hardship. He has conducted hundreds of writing workshops in prisons, community centers, libraries and universities throughout the country. His themes include American Southwest barrios, addiction, injustice, education, community and love.

His nonprofit foundation, Cedar Tree Inc., provides free instruction, books, writing material and scholarship to people of all walks of life. The foundation sponsors a writing workshop in the Albuquerque Women’s Prison and at the South Valley Community Center.

The Baca book reading is part of FDU’s College Writing program and is sponsored by The Office of Campus Life and WAMFEST.  For more information call 973-443-8710.

For Immediate Release

The Mansion

FDU Public Relations
   (Metropolitan Campus Office)
Fairleigh Dickinson University
1000 River Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666

Dina Schipper
Director, University Public Relations

Melissa Payton

FDU Public Relations
   (College at Florham Office)
Fairleigh Dickinson University
285 Madison Avenue
Madison, NJ 07940

Scott Giglio
Assistant Director, Public Relations

Lillian Lukac