GLORIA L. VELÁSQUEZ is an internationally acclaimed author who holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University in Latin American and Chicano Literatures. Velásquez is the author of two collections of poetry, I Used to Be a Superwoman (Arte Público Press, 1994) and Xicana on the Run (Chusma House Publications, 2005).
Velásquez is the creator of the popular Roosevelt High School Series of books for young people: Juanita Fights the School Board (Piñata Books, 1994), Maya’s Divided World (Piñata Books, 1995), Tommy Stands Alone (Piñata Books, 1995), Rina’s Family Secret (Piñata Books, 1998), Ankiza (Piñata Books, 2000), Teen Angel (Piñata Books, 2003), and Tyrone’s Betrayal (Piñata Books, 2006). Ankiza was recently released in a brand new French edition entitled, J’aime qui je veux (Pocket Jeunesse, 2003). In addition, Velásquez’s poetry and fiction have appeared in journals and anthologies throughout the U.S. as well as in Europe.
Gloria Velásquez has received numerous honors for her writings and achievements. She was featured for Hispanic Heritage Month on KTLA, Channel 5, in Los Angeles. Velásquez was selected for inclusion in Who’s Who Among Hispanic Americans; Something about the Author and Contemporary Authors. In 2001, Velásquez was honored by The Texas House of Representatives for her outstanding contributions to literature. The 2004 anthology, Latina and Latino Voices in Literature for Teenagers and Children, devotes a chapter to Velasquez’s life and development as a writer. In 2004, Velásquez was featured in 100 History Making Ethnic Women, by Sherry York (Linworth Publishing). Velásquez’s song, “Son in Vietnam,” appeared in the 2003 PBS documentary, Soldados: Chicanos in Vietnam. Velásquez was also featured in the 2005 PBS documentary, La Raza de Colorado. In 1989, Velásquez became the first Chicana to be inducted into the University of Northern Colorado’s Hall of Fame. Stanford University recently honored Velásquez with “The Gloria Velásquez Papers,” archiving her life as a writer and humanitarian.
Velásquez’s latest young adult novel, Tommy Stands Tall (Piñata Books 2013), tells the story of a young man who overcomes homophobia and depression to make a difference in his community.
Gloria Velásquez is currently a professor in the Modern Languages and Literatures Department at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. Velásquez has also toured throughout the United States performing songs and poetry from her Superwoman Chicana CD.