vocalisms #40: Sandra Cisneros


vocalisms is a regular feature that presents selected tracks from Voca, the Poetry Center's online audiovisual archive of more than 800 recorded readings, spanning from 1963 to today.

Sandra Cisneros looks off to the left standing against a blue background

In this track from Sandra Cisneros’ 2019 reading, Manuel Muñoz leads an engaging conversation with Cisneros, asking questions that give Cisneros opportunities to talk about her years of creative and community-building work. The conversation ranges widely, covering the importance of similes in Cisneros’ work as a reflection of her worldview, poetry as a way of gaining a public voice that was denied her throughout her schooling, her father’s opposition to and eventual acceptance of her decision to be a writer, and the ways that love carries on with us even when those we love are gone. Through her lively responses, Cisneros shares her sense of humor, intelligence, and compassion.