Gary Soto was born in Fresno, California, in 1952. As an American of Mexican descent, he grew up in a Mexican American community. At various times in his childhood he wanted to be a priest, a hobo, and a paleontologist. In college Soto planned to study geography, but then he discovered poetry. "I don't think I had any literary aspirations when I was a kid," he says. "We didn't have books, and no one encouraged us to read. So my wanting to write poetry was a sort of fluke."
As a result of that fluke, Soto has been writing poetry, novels and short stories for young readers and adults ever since college. At the age of 25 he published a poetry collection, The Elements of San Joaquin, that won the 1976 United States Award of the International Poetry Forum.
Today, Soto lives with his wife and daughter in Berkeley, California, where he occasionally teaches English and Chicano studies at the University of California.
For further information about Gary Soto have a look at Important links.
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