Lessons of the Past
Judith Ortiz Cofer (1952–2016), as a young girl, emigrated with her family from Puerto Rico to Paterson, New Jersey; when she was a teenager her family relocated to Augusta. Ortiz Cofer was the author of several novels, including If I Could Fly (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011), Call Me Maria (2004), and The Line of the Sun (1989); poetry collections such as A Love Story Beginning in Spanish (2005), Reaching for the Mainland (1995), and Terms of Survival (1987); a memoir, The Cruel Country (UGA Press, 2015); two essay collections, Lessons From a Writer’s Life (Heinemann Books, 2011) and Woman in Front of the Sun: On Becoming a Writer (2000); and many other works, including three children’s titles with Piñata Books / Arte Público Press—¡A Bailar! (2011), The Poet Upstairs (2012), and Animal Jamboree / La fiesta de los animales (2012). Ortiz Cofer’s work appeared in The Georgia Review, Southern Review, the Kenyon Review, Glamour, and many other periodicals, as well as in numerous textbooks and anthologies. Ortiz Cofer, who in 2010 was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame, was the Regents’ and Franklin Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Georgia.