Alurista (Alberto Baltazar Urista Heredia) was born 8 August 1947. He emerged as a Chicano poet and writer during the late 1960s. Originally from Mexico City, Alurista moved to California in his early teens. He attended San Diego State University where he received his B.A. in psychology, and the University of California in San Diego where he earned his M.A. in Spanish literature. After teaching creative writing and Chicano literature at San Diego State University he taught at the University of Texas at Austin as a visiting lecturer in 1974.
Associated with early Chicano movement poetry, Alurista developed and expanded on mythological, cultural, and political themes, and pioneered alternating use and blending of Spanish and English languages. He is the author of five poetry anthologies: Floricanto en Aztlán (1971), Nationchild Plumaroja (1972), Timespace Huracán (1976), A'nque (1979), and Spik in Glyph? (1981).
In the 1970s Alurista organized Festival Floricanto, an open forum where Chicano writers could read from their literary works. He edited Festival Floricanto I: An Anthology of Chicano Literature (1974) and Festival Floricanto II (1976), and has written numerous essays on Chicano culture, the Chicano movement, and literary criticism.
As a community activist in California, Alruista co-founded various student and community organizations such as Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán at San Diego State University, Concilio por la Justicia, Centro Cultural de la Raza, and the Department of Chicano Studies at San Diego State University.
——— originally written in 1981.
The Alurista papers have been divided into eight major categories that include poetry collections, single poems, canciones (songs), contributions to publications, television scripts, critical essays and research papers, other works such as translations and position papers, and works about Alurista.
Manuscripts of poetry collections have been cataloged alphabetically by title and include drafts of poems in Alabados (1973), A’nque (1979), Timespace Huracán, and Trece Aliens (1976), and an anthology published by Alurista and other Chicano poets. A manuscript with the poet's corrections and an original dummy layout to Nationchild Plumaroja is also cataloged in this section. A typescript manuscript and drafts of poems written between 1975 and 1979 for Spik in Glyph? have also been cataloged but will only be available upon publication of the work [editor's note: Spik in Glyph was published in 1981; the manuscript is now available].
The single poems and the canciones have been filed chronologically. They include Alurista's first bilingual poems published by Quinto Sol Publications in 1968 and 1969 and a bound journal with 25 handwritten pages of poetry written between 1970 and 1972.
Contributions made to publications include five chapters on "Nahuatl Culture: The Heart of Aztlán," and two drafts each of four essays published by Pajarito Publications in 1970 and 1971. Two television scripts prepared for an NBC Mexican American Heritage Series in Los Angeles, California, are followed by criticalessays and papers written by Alurista from 1975 to 1979. Other works include two position papers: "Chicano Studies: A Future", and "Aztlán: Reality of Myth?"; and outlines written in 1971 and 1972 of discussion sessions on Chicano literature and on the continental unity of Latin America and Chicanos.
Works about Alurista include many of the newsclippings and articles published on Alurista and on Chicano literature both in the United States and Mexico, as well as an interview of the poet published in La Palabra y El Hombre in 1977.
Standard copyright restrictions apply.
Cite as: Alurista Papers, Benson Latin American Collection, LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections, The University of Texas at Austin.
Acquired in 1984.
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