Bonnie is a fourth-generation educator in a line of South Texas schoolteachers.
A mother of two, she earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State University and is a member of the Macondo Writers Workshop.
Her poems and essays appear in River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative, El Retorno, Chicana/Latina Studies, and El Placazo Barrio Newspaper.
Moonlighting as DJ Despeinada, she consciously spins vinyl records that center women artists of color and musicians of the borderlands.
Bonnie performs at cultural events, cantinas, and cemeteries.
She is currently at work on a creative nonfiction/autohistoria-teoría/curriculum project funded by a NALAC NFA grant: Bodies of Agua will be published by Plancha Press.
University of the Incarnate Word, BA Interdisciplinary Studies, Concentration in English, 2000.
Portland Community College, 24 hours English/Screenwriting/ Film Studies, just for fun, 2006-2008.
Texas State University, MFA Creative Writing, Creative Nonfiction Thesis, 2017.
Texas Certified Teacher, Grades 1-8, Specialization in English, 2000-always hopefully.
Nathaniel Hawthorne Academy,
San Antonio Independent School District,
7th and 8th Grade ELA/Social Studies Teacher,
2003-2006 and again from 2009-2011.
El Placazo Barrio Newspaper Coordinator & Editor
James E. Tilton Creative Writing Award, University of the Incarnate Word, 1999.
Macondo Writers Workshop, 2015.
National Association of Latino Arts & Culture, NFA Grantee, 2018.
I adapted my NALAC-funded MAS curriculum for a community workshop that filled up quickly, and at one point had a waiting list of 20+ más o menos.
When the conference came to my home, I was excited about the serendipitous possibilities, but a global pandemic altered the gathering. Here I am at a #DignidadLiteraria Read-In/Mitote reading to an audience that included my ride-or-die BFF, my RGValley fam, Helena Maria Viramontes, and the San Antonio River herself, all wind-swept and almost rowdy despite the Riverwalk confines. I read two pages, stopped because long readings usually make me cranky, but Viramontes said, "Keep going." So, I did. I read my WIP, an essay that never wants to end about my abuela, she who has been gone for a year, at the waters of a city where she brought us all those years ago. Viramontes gave me her blessing, and some instant feedback, and it was the highlight of this, my first, AWP conference. My hope is that we all make it to Kansas City after all the impending unknown.
I was asked to write about San Antonio for Porter House Review, and felt wary about putting all my sacred favorite spots on a platter for people coming to AWP 2020, so I found a way to offer suggestions, weave in backstory, and comment on the on-going erasure of SA cultural landmarks. I've received so much beautiful energy over the essay. It's been a dream:
Copyright © 2019 Bonnie Ilza Cisneros - All Rights Reserved.