Alurista

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Poet, Chicano activist, and teacher. Born Alberto Baltazar Urista in Mexico City on August 8, 1947; moved to California as a child. Adopted his pseudonym, Alurista, and began to publish poetry in the late 1960s. Known for mixing Spanish and English in his work. Involved in Chicano student movements and in organizing festivals to promote the work of Hispanic writers.

From the description of Alurista papers, 1968-1979. (University of Texas Libraries). WorldCat record id: 22717658

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.

From the guide to the Alurista Papers 1984-36. 22717658., 1968-1979, (Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin)

Alurista was one of the first poets to establish the concept of Aztlan in his writings, a concept that envisions a return to the praises of the Aztec civilization. He is also the co-founder of El Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MECha) which when translated, means Chicano student movement of Aztlan, that helped organized the Chicano Studies Program at San Diego State College.

Alurista is one of the leading literary figures during the Chicano Movement era. He is most well known for his support of the Chicano Movement through his literature and poetry. Alurista was an early Chicano activist, credited in helping to establish the Centro Cultural de la Raza in San Diego. During the Chicano Movement Alurista authored significant manifestos of the movement.

From the description of Alurista Papers, 1954-2002. (University of California, Santa Barbara). WorldCat record id: 55653787

Biographical Sketch

Alurista is one of the leading literary figures during the Chicano Movement era. He is most well known for his support of the Chicano Movement through his literature and poetry. Alurista was an early Chicano activist, credited in helping to establish the Centro Cultural de la Raza in San Diego. During the Chicano Movement Alurista authored significant manifestos of the movement. He was one of the first poets to establish the concept of Aztlán in his writings, a concept that envisions a return to the praises of the Aztec civilization. He is also the co-founder of El Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) which when translated, means Chicano student movement of Aztlán, that helped organize the Chicano Studies Program at San Diego State College.

Alurista was born in Mexico City on August 8, 1947, given the name Alberto Baltazar Urista. It was in 1966 that he began to write ardent poetry for publication and adopted the pen name Alurista, which is the only name he uses now. When Alurista began to publish poetry in the late 1960's he soon became recognized for his dexterity in English, Spanish, Raya, and Nahuatl, and also for blending standard and slang languages in his writings. After coming to the United States as a teenager, Alurista graduated from High school in 1965 and began studying business administration at Chapman College, in Orange, California, only to find that this field was uninteresting to him. He then transferred to San Diego State College and began studying religion. However, when he found the overwhelming dogma of the instructors too much for him, he switched to sociology, then to social welfare. It was at San Diego State that Alurista helped establish MECHA in 1967. During the Denver Youth Conference in 1969, Alurista helped draft El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán (The Spiritual Plan of Aztlán), which offered support to the resolutions being adopted by the conference members. After working as a psychiatric child-care worker and as a counselor, he worked with Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) and the Brown Berets. He then graduated with a BA in psychology from San Diego State in 1970.

Alurista went on to earn his M.A. from San Diego State in 1978 and then his Ph.D. in literature from the University of California, San Diego in 1983. He focused his dissertation on the novel, The Revolt of the Cockroach People, by Oscar Zeta-Acosta. He has since then published five anthologies of his poetry. He has written many essays and literary criticisms on the Chicano Movement as well as on Chicano culture that have been widely published in anthologies, journals, and newspapers. He has lectured at many colleges, universities, and at other establishments worldwide. Alurista taught at California State Polytechnic College in San Luis Obispo as a professor of Spanish from 1986 to 1990. He now resides in Denver, Colorado, where he is a faculty member at Escuela Tlatelolco teaching Chicano thought, culture, and literature. He also continues to lecture and give readings at universities throughout the country.

From the guide to the Alurista Papers, 1954-2010, (University of California, Santa Barbara, Davidson Library, Department of Special Collections, California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Alurista Papers 1984-36. 22717658., 1968-1979 Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin
creatorOf Alurista. Alurista Papers, 1954-2002. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
creatorOf Alurista Papers, 1954-2010 University of California, Santa Barbara, Davidson Library, Department of Special Collections, California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives
creatorOf Alurista. Alurista papers, 1968-1979. University of Texas Libraries
referencedIn Miscellaneous Sound Recordings ., 1960s-present Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin
referencedIn Juan Bruce-Novoa Papers BENSON-MS BRUCE-NOVOA. 22946235., 1973- Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin
referencedIn Colegio César Chávez Collection, 1978-2005, 1978-1982 Oregon State University Libraries University Archives
creatorOf Acosta, Oscar Zeta. Oscar Zeta Acosta Collection, 1936-1990. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
referencedIn Olivo, Arthur. Colegio César Chávez collection, 1978-2005. Oregon State University Libraries
referencedIn Raul Salinas Papers Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
referencedIn Zamora, Bernice. Bernice Zamora papers, 1969-1984. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Juan Bruce-Novoa Papers BENSON-MS BRUCE-NOVOA. 22946235., 1973- Benson Latin American Collection, The University of Texas at Austin
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Acosta, Oscar Zeta. person
associatedWith Bruce-Novoa, 1944- person
associatedWith Miscellaneous Sound Recordings corporateBody
associatedWith Olivo, Arthur person
associatedWith Olivo, Arthur. person
associatedWith Orozco Ochoa, Victor. person
associatedWith Orozco Ochoa, Victor. person
associatedWith Raúlrsalinas, 1934- person
associatedWith Zamora, Bernice. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Chicano movement--California
Mexican American authors
Poetry
American literature--Mexican American authors--History and criticism
Mexican American poets
Mexican Americans in literature
Mexican American poets--20th century
Chicano movement
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1947-08-08

Mexicans

English,

Spanish; Castilian

Information

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