Judith Ortiz Cofer: Biography

Judith Ortiz Cofer

24 feb 1952

Judith Ortiz Cofer is a Puerto Rican author of critically acclaimed and award-winning poetry, novels, short stories and autobiographical writing. Although Ortiz Cofer was born in Puerto Rico, she and her family moved to the United States when she was just 4 years old. She spent the earlier part of her childhood in New Jersey before she and her family moved to Georgia in time for her high school and university education.

Ortiz Cofer graduated from August College, Georgia with a BA in English. She then went on to study for an MA at Florida Atlantic University. She was awarded fellowships from Oxford University and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, allowing her to grow and develop as a writer. She taught at the University of Georgia for 26 years before retiring at the end of 2013.

Judith Ortiz Cofer is known for writing woks which are often classed as ‘creative nonfiction’. She often explores themes of racism and sexism in the United States and machismo in Puerto Rican culture. She often draws on her own experiences as an immigrant to the United States and the treatment that she has been given since her arrival. She has been decorated with awards and nominations right since the beginning of her literary career: two of her works, The Line of the Sun and The Latin Deli, have been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The Meaning of Consuelo was a winner of the Américas Award in 2003 and her first novel, The Line of the Sun, was chosen by the New York Public Library as an Outstanding Book of the Year in 1989.