Press Release Archive 2011 - 1999

Author Jimmy Santiago Baca coming to The C of I

2008. 01. 29.

CALDWELL New Mexico author Jimmy Santiago Baca will conduct a reading at The College of Idaho on Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. in Langroise Recital Hall. The reading is open to the public.

Baca has an interesting story. He is of Indio-Mexican descent and spent his early years in New Mexico being raised by his grandmother, but was later sent to an orphanage. He became a runaway at age 13 and as an adult spent five years in a maximum security prison.

In prison, he discovered poetry and began writing. Some of his early poems were published in Mother Jones magazine and were included in "Immigrants in Our Own Land," a book of poems that was published in 1979, the year he was released from prison.

Baca has devoted his post-prison life to writing and teaching others who are overcoming hardship. His themes include American Southwest barrios, addiction, injustice, education, community, love and beyond.

In 2005 he created Cedar Tree Inc., a nonprofit foundation that works to give people the opportunity to become educated and improve their lives. Cedar Tree provides free instruction, books, writing material and scholarships.

Baca has conducted hundreds of writing workshops in prisons, community centers, libraries, and universities throughout the country. In addition to his reading at The C of I, he will conduct a writing workshop at the Idaho Correctional Center medium security facility in Kuna.

Baca has published several books of poetry, a memoir and a book of short stories.

More information about Jimmy Santiago Baca is available at