Gary Soto

Gary Soto was born in 1952 in the San Joaquin Valley, where his mother worked in a potato-processing plant and his father packed boxes of raisins until his death in an accident when Soto was five years old. Hoping to avoid the Vietnam War draft, Soto enrolled in Fresno City College in 1970 intending to study geography but soon transferred to California State University to study English. “I figured I’d just look at maps, study some rivers, take multiple-choice tests, and that’d be that,” he later recalled, but upon reading poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg, “I thought, wow, wow, wow. I wanted to do this thing.”

Issues Contributed