Born in Havana in 1956, Achy Obejas came to the United States as an exile when she was six years old. She obtained a M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College (North Carolina), and began working for the Chicago Tribune in 1992, reporting mainly about arts and culture, including the Pope's visit to Cuba in 1998 and the arrival of Al-Queda prisoners in Guantnamo. She won a Pulitzer Prize for her journalism as well as the Studs Terkel Journalism Prize (1996).
After a decade of intensive journalism, Achy Obejas has proved her ability to branch out by translating and writing short stories, a novel and poetry, so it's little surprise to discover that she was a visiting instructor at the University of Chicago and that she is currently the Sor Juana Visiting Writer at DePaul University. This coming week on November 2, she'll be speaking and reading from her poetry at the Poetry Foundation in the company of Mark Doty as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival. Read more about it here.
Her publications include: We Came All the Way from Cuba So You Could Dress Like This? (1994), Memory Mambo (1996), and Days of Awe (2001).