About Cherrie Moraga

Iceland, Summer 2016

Born in Los Angeles, and raised two blocks from the San Gabriel Mission, Cherríe Moraga is an internationally recognized poet, playwright, essayist and memoirist.  She began work as professional writer as a co-editor (with Gloria Anzaldúa) of the avant-garde feminist anthology, This Bridge Called My Back:  Writings by Radical Women of Color.  As a political and literary essayist, she has published several collections of writings, including:  A Xicana Codex of Changing Consciousness; Loving in The War Years: Lo que nunca pasó por sus labios; The Last Generation; and, Waiting in the Wings: Portrait of a Queer Motherhood.  Moraga is the recipient of the United States Artist Rockefeller Fellowship for Literature, the American Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Lambda Foundation’s “Pioneer” award, among other honors. 

As a playwright, she has received two Fund for New American Plays Awards, the NEA’s Playwrights’ Fellowship, as well as a Drama-logue and Critics Circle Award, and the Pen West Award.  She has published three volumes of plays: Heroes & Saints & Other Plays; The Hungry Woman/Heart of the Earth and, Watsonville/Circle in the Dirt.  In 2017, Moraga premiered and directed her newest work, The Mathematics of Love at Brava Theater Center in San Francisco.

For over twenty years, Maestra Moraga served as an Artist in Residence in the Department of Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University.  There she mentored a full generation of now published writers and professional playwrights who credit Moraga as one of their most influential teachers. In 2017, la Maestra began her tenure as a Professor in the Department of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where with her artistic partner, Celia Herrera Rodríguez, she has instituted Las Maestras: Center for Xicana Indigenous Thought and Art Practice.

Cherríe Moraga is an activist writer, who sustains an engaged schedule of appearances on college campuses, at activist and academic conferences and in community settings both nationally and internationally. She is also a founding member of La Red Xicana Indígena, an advocacy network of Xicanas working in education, the arts, spiritual practice, and indigenous women’s rights.  

Recently, Moraga completed a new literary memoir entitled: Native County of the Heart published by Farrar, Straus. and Giroux in Spring 2019. 


Moraga receives Barnard Medal of Distinction on May 20, 2019 in New York City.

See award citation

Moraga with playwright María Irene Fornés, 1990

Cherrie Moraga in Her Own Words

From "Women Who Make America" Series


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