Cecilia Rodríguez Milanés
is a professor of Latino/a literature and writing at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Her short fiction has been anthologized in Iguana Dreams: New Latino Fiction (HarperCollins), Did My Mama Like to Dance? and Other Stories about Mothers and Daughters (Avon) and in New World: Young Latino Writers (Bantam). Her short story collection, Marielitos, Balseros and Other Exiles, was released in June 2009 by Ig Publishers.
She also writes and performs poetry; some recent web publications include poems in Damselfly and SNReview. Check out her “Cuban American Manifesto” on the site for Conjunto Kimbombo–it was filmed outside at night so the quality isn’t the best but it’ll give you an idea of the “Cuban Suite” she is currently working on with Kevin Meehan and Jorge Milanés.
By way of a more personal biography . . . I thought I should revisit this page though I left the original info on below this updated section.
I was born in Jersey City, New Jersey to Cuban parents but grew up in Bayonne, NJ. At age 14, my family, including a younger brother, moved to Miami where I earned a BA in English/Creative Writing at the University of Miami (Go Canes!) and a Masters at Barry University, writing a thesis on Toni Morrison’s first four novels. I met and married my partner Jorge in Miami and then moved to upstate New York where I earned a Doctorate of Arts at the State University of New York at Albany. Both of my children were born in Florida, my daughter in Miami, my son in Orlando where I have lived and worked since 1999.
I like to say that I have both Northern and Southern sensibilities since I have lived for years in both regions. To me, the most important aspects in my writing are the way language sounds and that the characters be believable and memorable. I love reading and get tremendous satisfaction from writing that reaches or moves readers–so please do let me know what you think of the stories. I love traveling and meeting people and look forward to more book talks and readings.
As a teacher of literature and writing, I feel lucky to do what I love. Being around students, having discussions about books, and helping writers is a great fit for my personality and interests. I’m crazy about the beach and love to dance, especially salsa. We have two dogs–Puchi and Shifu. My household is usually quite boisterous and not just because of the animals.