Inspired to write by a prophetic dream of her father in 1995, Stella Pope Duarte believes that writing, like love, begins within, or it doesn't start at all. Hailed by critics as a "major, new literary voice in America," Duarte is described by reviewers as a "magical weaver with a sure hand and a pure heart," and as an author who "will enlarge humanity." Her works include: Fragile Night, Let Their Spirits Dance, If I Die in Juarez, Women Who Live in Coffee Shops and Other Stories, and her most curent work, Writing Through Revelations, Visions and Dreams: The memoir of a writer's soul. Her literary works have won awards and honors nationwide, including a 2009 American Book Award, a Pulitzer Prize nomination, Southwest Book of the Year Award, Women in American History Award, Arizona Book of the Year Award, Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Award, Independent Publisher's Book of he Year Award, AZ Highways Magazine Book of the Year Award, and a nomination to Oprah's Book Sense list. She has twice been awarded a creative writing fellowship by the Arizona Commisson on the Arts, and in 2005 was awarded the "Alumni of the Year" by the American Association of Community Colleges. In 2013 Duarte was honored as one of four Women Makers of Arizona, and included as part of the PBS Special: MAKERS: Women Who Make America. She has been featured on C-Span, PBS, Horizonte, AZ Channel 12, NPR, Books & Company, Book Critics Circle, New York Times, Dallas Morning News, Notre Dame Observer, Arizona Republic, El Paso Times, Publishers Weekly, Latino Perspectives Magazine, Ms. Magazine and many more national outlets.
A college and university professor with a B.A. in education, a Masters in Counseling from Arizona State University, and an ESL/Bilingual state endorsement, Ms. Duarte currently teaches English and creative writing for colleges, universities, community centers and as a Roster Artist for the Arizona Commission on the Arts, teaching creative writing to students of all ages. Duarte's work explores the human heart as her characters move between profound truth, darkness, regret, and exhilarating joy. Her writing is described as transformational, inspiring, heartwarming, and "good for the soul." She is unafraid to face society's most pressing problems and often researches for years, investigating issues that oppress the most vulnerable among us. She has walked the red light districts of Ciudad Juarez, made her way through the jungles of the Mekong Delta, and conducted hundreds of interviews across the nation to complete work on her novels. "I had never even been on an airplane, until I started writing. The only place we ever went to when I was a child was to the cemetery on Sundays." As an author she has traveled extenively throughout the U.S., and has enjoyed visiting other countries as well. (See "Places I've Been" for sample list of local and national sites visited)
Born and raised in the Sonorita Barrio in South Phoenix, Ms. Duarte currently writes from her home in Phoenix, Arizona a few miles away from the place of her birth. While keeping up with her four children, and increasing number of grandchildren, she reflects "I often stare with wonder at the beautiful faces of my family, and consider myself truly blessed." The trials of a writer's life are made less tedious by the love of family and friends, and her commitment to understanding the "language of her own soul," and living out the high purpose of her life keeps her open to fresh new ideas and ways to face the world's darkness through her writing.
Ms. Duarte is a highly sought-after inspirational speaker, and a favorite keynote speaker for audiences of all ages, on topics related to her work, as well as on issues related to: women's rights, culture, diversity, leadership, education, literacy, Chicano/Latino history, writing, and storytelling. Her dynamic presentations motivate audiences with life-changing profound insights, sparked with her own brand of humor and heartfelt storytelling. "You will never forget you have heard her speak!" stated an enthusiastic fan who credits Stella for giving him the courage to change his life. Creative writing students have described her teaching style as one that encourages freedom in writing, and opens levels of the "writer within," that surprise and prepare them for creating exciting, new works. (See "Lecture Topics" for list of workshops, classes and presentations.)
Contact Stella for writing events, conferences, workshops, keynotes, book fairs, schools, university and college lectures, cultural and human rights conferences, and a host of community events based on your own individual needs. Your request will receive prompt attention, and personal conference and workshop themes are ALWAYS WELCOME!
HIGHLIGHTS OF QUALIFICATIONS *Published Author *University Professor *Educational Consultant *Artist in Residence *Community Activist *Motivational Speaker
EDUCATION ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY *B.A. in Education *MA.Ed Educational Counseling *School Counselor Certification *Bilingual Endorsement *Certified English/Second Language Instructor *Certified Community College Instructor
EMPLOYMENT *Maricopa Community Colleges 1999 to Present *Educational Consultant 1995-Present *Artist in Residence 2004 to Present *University of Phoenix 1991-Present *Arizona State Univesity 1999 to present *Phoenix Union H.S. District 1992-2004 *Phoenix South Mental Health 1989-1996 *Isaac School District 1986-1992
Job responsibilities have included the following: Instructing in BLE/ESL classes ranging from elementary to university settings; facilitating and managing district-wide educational programs; coordinating a school-wide counseling program as Chair of Counseling at the high school level; serving as clinician in crisis, individual, family, and grief and loss counseling; teaching as adjunct faculty in education ESL, and masters of counseling classes for Arizona State University and the University of Phoenix; teaching as adjunct faculty in Creative Writing at ASU and community colleges; conducting local and national workshops and seminars related to creative writing, education, women's rights, literacy, culture, Chicano/Chicana history, and storytelling. Serving as an Artist in Residence for elementary and high school students.
FROM DREAM TO REALITY
My literary career began by way of a dream of my deceased father in 1995. In the dream, my father related to me that I was destined to write. One year after the dream, I signed my first book contract for Fragile Night, a collection of short stories. In 2002, Let Their Spirits Dance, was released for publication by HarperCollins. My father was right...the salmon-colored staircase he led me to in the dream was immense, reaching into the Heavens. It has become my way into the writing world, and so much more.
BOOK PUBLICATIONS * Writing Through Revelations, Visions and Dreams: The Memoir of a Writer's Soul, 2012. POPE Communications. Available through CreateSpace, Amazon booksellers, and Kindle.
*Women Who Live in Coffee Shops and Other Stories, (Paperback) 2010. Arte Publico Press, Houston, Texas.
*If I Die in Juárez, (Paperback) 2008. University of Arizona Press, Tucson, Arizona.
*Let Their Spirits Dance, (Hard-bound) 2002. HarperCollins, New York City.
.*Let Their Spirits Dance, (Paperback) 2003. HarperCollins, New York City.
*Que Bailen Sus Espiritus, (Paperback), 2003. Spanish. HarperCollins, New York City.
*Az Republic Newspaper Articles: “On A Ticket to the World,” (March 25, 2001), “Alley turns into symbol for love in a harsh world,” (April 16, 2004), “Segregation on Cave Man Row,” (June 4, 2004), “Passion vine a metaphor for new openings in life.” (December 17, 2004), “Juárez women deserve justice.” (March 25, 2005.), “Giving thanks for all that is good should be done all year.” (November 18, 2005), "See Beauty, not shame in use of native tongue," (January 19, 2008)
See Latino Perspectives, http://latinopm.com for full list ofarticles published as Staff Writer.
*2001 recipient, AZ Arts Commission Creative Writing Fellowship for, Let Their Spirits Dance.
*1998 recipient, AZ Arts Commission Creative Writing Fellowship for, Fragile Night.
HONORS & AWARDS *2013 PBS Special: Makers: Women Who Make America. Nominated as one of four Arizona Makers.
*2012 Arizona Centennial Celebration, Arizona Storytellers Theatre at Bestfest, featured as one of Arizona's leading authors.
*2011 Professor Alberto Rios Outstanding Literary/Arts Award, presented by the Victoria Foundation.
*2011, Community Arts & Literature Award, presented by MUJER INC.
* 2011, Women in American History Award, presented by the Daughters of the American Revolution, Grand Canyon Chapter.
*2010, YWCA Tribute to Women Award, "Creative Arts Leader."
*2009, American Book Award, If I Die in Juárez. Awarded by the "Before Columbus Awards," Berkeley University.
*2009, Independent Publisher Book Awards, "Gold Medal in Multicultural Fiction," If I Die in Juárez.
*2009, Foreword Book of the Year Award, "Gold Medal in Multicultural Fiction," If I Die in Juárez.
*2009, International Latino Book Award, "Best Novel, Adventure or Drama," - Honorable Mention, If I Die in Juárez.
*2008, Southwest Book of the Year Award, "Top Pick," If I Die in Juárez.
*2008, Arizona Book Award, "Best in Popular Fiction," If I Die in Juàrez.
*2008, 34th Annual Chicano/Latino Literary Prize, University of California at Irvine, FIRST PLACE for short story collection: "Women Who Live in Coffee Shops."
*2006, Induction into the Phoenix College Hall of Fame.
*2006, Appointment by Governor Janet Napolitano as member of Arizona Commission on the Arts
*2005, American Association of Community Colleges, “Outstanding Alumni Award.”
*2004, “Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Award,” for an excerpt from If I Die in Juarez.
*2003, Valle del Sol Award, “Excellence in Latino Arts and Culture.” Profiles of Success Award.
*2003, AZ Highways Magazine, “Fiction Award for 2003,” Let Their Spirits Dance.
* 2003, Let Their Spirits Dance, nominated by AZ librarians as a ONE BOOKAz selection.
*2002, Let Their Spirits Dance, nominated to Book Sense List.
*2002, recipient, “Hispanic Women's Corporation, Community Award in Literature.”
*2002 ,recipient, “Phoenix College Alumni Association Citation of Merit for Literature.”
*2001, Second Place in River City Writing Awards. (Univ. of Memphis) “Benny.” Published in River City. Judge, Richard Ford.
* 2000, Pushcart Prize Nomination for “La Norteña,” creative non-fiction.
*1997, First Place in 17th Annual Az. Authors Literary Contest, “Benny's Pinkie.”
Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society; ASU Alumni Association; Phoenix College Alumni Association, Chicano/a Faculty & Staff of ASU West; LULAC (League of Latin American Countries) Cesar Chavez Council #1086; Southern Poverty Law Center; Hispanic Education Forum, Scottsdale Society of Women Writers..