• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Want to get organized in 2022? Let Dokkio put your cloud files (Drive, Dropbox, and Slack and Gmail attachments) and documents (Google Docs, Sheets, and Notion) in order. Try Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) for free. Available on the web, Mac, and Windows.


Gary Soto 1

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 3 months ago



Gary Soto




About Me: I was Born in Frenson, California on April 12 1952. My parents names were Manuel and Angie. I have an older brother and a younger sister. My dad died in a factory when I was five years old. After my father died we went through a really rough time, and when I was old enough, I worked the fields to help ends meet. I went to school but not very often in High School I had a D average. "Of poetry or prose, I prefer poetry as part of my soul. I think like a poet, and behave like a poet." In 1975 I married Carolyn Oda. Together we had a beautiful daughter named Mariko.


Influences: My child and teenage years are the largest influences in all my writing.My wife and my daughter are also a large influence and my two cats, Sharkie and Corky.




Awards:Living Up The Street has received a Before Columbus Foundation 1985 American Book Award, I 


won the Bess Hokin Prize and the Levinson Award,the Discovery-The Nation Prize, the U.S. Award of the International Poetry Forum, and The California Library Association's John and Patricia Beatty Award, twice. In 1993 I won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for my film The Pool Party. In 1999, I received the Literature Award from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and The Author-Illustrator Civil Rights Award from the National Education Association. 


Schooling and Degrees: I went to California State Univeristy in and recieve my English Degree in 1974. I then went onto the Univeristy of California and reiceved my Masters in Fine Arts and Creative writing.(Thats were I met my wife). I went on to teach at the Univeristy of California at Berkely. I taught  Chicano studies and  English.



Poets that inspire: Edward Field,"Field wrote in a voice that was real common and I didn't know poetry could be like that."http://www.notablebiographies.com/news/Sh-Z/Soto-Gary.htmlChilean poet Pablo Neruda made me want to start writting poetry. I took my first poerty class with the Michigan Poet Philip Levine and he taught me how to break down poetry and write my own stuff.


My Works:


  • The Elements of San Joaquin
  • The Tale of Sunlight
  • Living Up the Street: Narrative Recollections
  • Small Faces
  • Lesser Evils: Ten Quartets
  • A Summer Life
  • The Effects of Knut Hamsun on Frenso Bay
  • Baseball in April
  • A Fire in My Hands
  • Canto Familiar
  • Fearless Fernie
  • Too Many Tamale
  • If the shoes fits
  • The Skirt
  • The Pool Party
  • Boys at Work
  • Summer on Wheels
  • Taking Sides
  • Jesse ( My personal favorite)


  • Buried Onions
  • The Afterlife


A Poem and it's meaning by Savanna Wallace

It's dusk, now night,

And the lights in your home are on.

That costs money, yellow light

In the kitchen. That's thirty steps,

You say to your hands,

Now shaped into binoculars.

You could raise them to your eyes:

You were a fool in school, now look at you.

You're a giant among cotton plants.

Now you see your oldest boy, also running.

Papa, he says, it's time to come in.

You pull him into your lap

And ask, What's forty times nine?

He knows as well as you, and you smile.

The wind makes peace with the trees,

The stars strike themselves in the dark.

You get up and walk with the sigh of cotton plants.

You go to sleep with a red sun on your palm,

The sore light you see when you first stir in bed.



This whole poem is just a story about a man who works the fields to survive. It's about poverty and how each row worth money. The line "And the lights are on in your home, That costs money, That's thirty steps" shows this by saying how this man measures his finacial life but steps and rows. It's also about survival and a mans wasted life in school. "You were a fool in school, now look at you, You're a giant among cotton plants". This particular stanza is at the end of this man's work day when he is home relazing. Even when his is relaxing his has the "sigh of the cotton plant". I think that means that he brings the burden of work home with him, that he's not really relaxing.


Poem Reading.mp3


 Works Cited:

Gary Soto biography Forum.”Gary Soto”. 10/29/07.




Gary Soto.“The Red Palm”.Gary Soto. 10/24/07



Famous Poets and Poems. “Gary Soto”.Gary Soto.10/24/07



The Life and Works of Gary Soto. Bryan Still.10/24/07



Created By: Savanna




Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.