In October of 2014, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti selected Luis J. Rodriguez as the official poet laureate of the City of Los Angeles. The two-year term will involve poetry readings, workshops, festivals, and blogposts. The goal is to spread poetry and the power of the imagination and the arts as widely as possible throughout the city.
Rodriguez's last poetry book, "My Nature is Hunger," won the 2005 Paterson Book Award. His 1993 memoir "Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.," with close to half a million copies sold, became one of L.A.'s most checked out in libraries--and one of the most stolen. He has a dozen other books in poetry, children's literature, fiction, and nonfiction.
Rodriguez is also founding editor of the small press, Tia Chucha Press, now in its 25th year, and co-founder of Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural & Bookstore in the San Fernando Valley. His latest book is "It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing," a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award.