Accelerated English 1
25 April 2011
Gary Soto: Life of Success
Gary Soto is a Mexican-American poet that has been called one of the “finest-natural talents” of his kind (Wilson). He has led a life full of success, has influenced and has been influenced by others, and is known for his numerous styles of poetry.
Soto was born on April 5, 1952, in Fresno, California, to Angie and Manuel Soto. His father Manuel passed away when Soto was just 5 years old, as a result from a work incident. That left his mother Angie, his brother Rick, and his younger sister Debra to raise and educate him. His family was Catholic, and as a result Soto attended Catholic and private schools. He graduated high school in 1970, and went on to enroll at Fresno City College. Soto began to read poems in his college library and began his poetry career immediately. So he transferred to California State University and enrolled himself in Phillip Levine’s creative writing class. In 1974 he graduated from California University with magna cum laude (Wilson). In 1975, Soto married Carolyn Oda, who lived in the Fresno area (Martinelle 2378). Five years after they were married, they had their first child, Mariko. In 1976 Soto earned his master’s degree in creative writing from California University. After earning his masters, he became writer-in-residence at San Diego State University. Then, he decided to leave and become lecturer in the Chicano Studies Department at Berkley, California (Wilson).
When Soto’s father died, it had an extreme impact on his life (Martinelle 2378). Once Soto became interested in poetry, his family members were his influence. In his writings, he constantly mentions his father, and other closely related relatives. He would constantly dedicate volumes of poetry to his family members. Soto also mentioned the troubles happening on the streets in his writings, trying to influence others to make the right decisions.
Soto has numerous styles of...