blackbird spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



Author and human rights activist Marjorie Agosín was born to Jewish parents in Chile and, as an adolescent, moved with her family to the United States to escape the military coup that overthrew Salvador Allende’s Socialist government. She holds degrees from the University of Georgia and Indiana University and is a professor of Spanish at Wellesley College.

Among her many books are the poetry collections, At the Threshold of Memory (2003), An Absence of Shadows (1998), and Starry Night: Poems (1996, winner of the Letras de Oro Prize for poetry from the Spanish Ministry of Culture and the North-South Center of the University of Miami), all from White Pine Press; Melodious Women (Discoveries) (Latin American Literary Review Press, 1998); Dear Anne Frank (Azul, 1994); and Toward the Splendid City (Bilingual Press, 1994, winner of the 1995 Latino Literature Prize). Her works of memoir and autobiography include The Alphabet in My Hands: A Writing Life (Rutgers, 2000); Always from Somewhere Else (Feminist Press, 2000); and A Cross and a Star: Memoirs of a Jewish Girl in Chile (University of New Mexico, 1995). Besides these and other works of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, Agosín has also edited A Map of Hope: Women’s Writings on Human Rights: An International Literary Anthology (Rutgers, 1999) and, with Betty Jean Craige, To Mend the World: Women Reflect on 9/11 (Consortium, 2002).

In addition to her literary awards, Agosín has also received numerous honors in recognition of her work as a human-rights activist, including the United Nations Leadership Award for Human Rights, the Good Neighbor Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews, the Jeanette Rankin Award in Human Rights, the 2004 National Mujer Award from the National Hispana Leadership Institute, and the Gabriela Mistral Medal for Lifetime Achievement, awarded by the Chilean government.