Gary Soto Essay

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Gary Soto Essay Juan Martinez

Gary Soto was born on April 12, 1952 in Fresno, California and is a Mexican-American author and poet. Gary’s parents are Manuel Soto and Angie Soto. In his youth, he worked in the fields of the San Joaquin Valley and in factories in Fresno. Gary's father died in 1957, when he was five years old. His family struggled to find work and he had little time and encouragement for school, so he was not a good student. Gary Soto says that even with his early academic record, he started his literary career by reading Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Jules Verne, Robert Frost, and Thornton Wilder. He attended Fresno City College and California State University, Fresno, where he earned his B.A. degree in English in 1974, studying with Philip Levine. He did work in poetry writing at the University of California, Irvine, where he earned his M.F.A. in 1976.He stated that he wanted to become a writer, in college, after discovering the novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez and the poets Edward Field, W.S. Merwin, Charles Simic, James Wright and Pablo Neruda. Soto's poetry focuses on daily experiences, often reflecting on his life as a Chicano. Soto also writes novels, plays, memoirs, children books, and has edited several literary anthologies. His story "The No-Guitar Blues" was made into a film, and he produced another film based on his book "The Pool Party." Soto has taught at the University of California, Berkeley and at the University of California, Riverside, where he was a professor. Gary Soto has devoted time to being the Young People's Ambassador for the United Farm Workers of America, introducing young people to the organization's work and goals. Presently, Soto lives in northern California, spending some time in Berkeley and in Fresno, but he does not teach anymore. Soto became the sponsor for the Pattonville High School Spanish...
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