In 1998 she established the Macondo Writers Workshop, which provides socially conscious workshops for writers, and in 2000 she founded the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation, which awards talented writers connected to Texas.
Cisneros was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 20, 1954, the third of seven children.
The only surviving daughter, she considered herself the "odd number in a set of men".
Cisneros's great-grandfather had played the piano for the Mexican president and was from a wealthy background, but he gambled away his family's fortune.
In 1978, after finishing her MFA degree, she taught former high-school dropouts at the Latino Youth High School in Chicago.
My Name Sandra Cisneros Essay
The 1984 publication of The House on Mango Street secured her a succession of writer-in-residence posts at universities in the United States, teaching creative writing at institutions such as the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Michigan.
Cisneros's early life provided many experiences she would later draw on as a writer: she grew up as the only daughter in a family of six brothers, which often made her feel isolated, and the constant migration of her family between Mexico and the United States instilled in her the sense of "always straddling two countries ...
but not belonging to either culture." Cisneros's work deals with the formation of Chicana identity, exploring the challenges of being caught between Mexican and Anglo-American cultures, facing the misogynist attitudes present in both these cultures, and experiencing poverty.
Through these jobs, she gained more experience with the problems of young Latino Americans.
In addition to being an author and poet, Cisneros has held various academic and teaching positions.