Cuesta College’s 2019 Book of the Year program will bring renowned Mexican-American Chicana scholar, novelist, and poet Ana Castillo to San Luis Obispo on March 5th to discuss her memoir Black Dove: Mama, Mi’jo and Me. Castillo will appear for a presentation and book-signing event at the Cuesta College Harold J. Miossi Cultural and Performing Arts Center (CPAC). General admission tickets for the public ($15) are now on sale at Tickets for Cuesta students are free; RSVP at Castillo will also lead a classroom discussion with Cuesta College’s North County Campus students in Paso Robles.

The memoir includes a collection of essays that offer an intimate look at pivotal experiences in Castillo’s life across three generations: the relationship between Castillo and her immigrant mother, Castillo’s own challenges as a single mother to her son, and her childhood memories of growing up in the Mexican barrios of Chicago.

“Leading up to the March event, free cultural activities—films, dance performances, art workshops—will take place throughout the county,” said Book of the Year Program Coordinator Carina Love. Film screenings of John Leguizamo’s humorous hit Latin History for Morons will be held on both Cuesta College campuses and the documentary The Latino List at local public libraries. Events will touch upon the book’s themes of family, bi-culturalism, bi-sexualism, careers in writing, and social injustice.

For a full program listing, please see the Calendar of Events.

About Author Ana Castillo: Born in Chicago, Castillo is a novelist, poet, short story writer, essayist, editor, playwright, translator and independent scholar. Castillo received her MA in Latin American Studies from the University of Chicago, after teaching ethnic studies at Santa Rosa Junior College. Considered one of the leading voices in Chicana experience, Castillo is known for her experimental style as a Latina novelist. Castillo has written more than 15 books and numerous articles and is widely regarded as a key thinker and a pioneer in the field of Chicana literature. Her novel Sapogonia was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She has attained numerous awards, including an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation for her first novel, The Mixquiahuala Letters, a Carl Sandburg Award, a Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in fiction and poetry and in 1998 Sor Juana Achievement Award by the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum in Chicago.
The Book of the Year Program is a project of Cuesta College’s Academic Senate in partnership with San Luis Obispo County Public Library SLO Reads. For more information, please visit or contact Carina Love at