Luis J. Rodriguez is the new Poet Laureate of Los Angeles and has emerged as one of the leading Chicano writers in the country with fifteen published books in memoir, fiction, nonfiction, children's literature, and poetry.
Luis is best known for the 1993 memoir of gang life, “Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.” (paperback by Touchstone Books/Simon & Schuster). Now selling more than 400,000 copies, this book garnered a Carl Sandburg Literary Award, a Chicago Sun-Times Book Award, and was designated a New York Times Notable Book. It became a stage play by the Cornerstone Theater Company at the Mark Taper Auditorium in the L.A. Public Library from 2003-2005 to 6,000 high school students, and at the Ivar Theater in Hollywood for a limited six-day run in 2005. Written as a cautionary tale for Luis' then 15-year-old son Ramiro—who had joined a Chicago gang—the memoir is popular among youth and teachers. One Los Angeles Public Library official said “Always Running” is the most checked out book in their vast library system—and also the most “stolen.” Despite its popularity, the American Library Association called “Always Running” one of the 100 most censored books in the United States.
And he’s founder in 2009 of Barking Rooster Entertainment, which plans to create new content for films, books, CDs, TV, radio, and the Internet. (to see full bio click here).