ABOUT MARC ZIMMERMAN
Marc Zimmerman is Professor Emeritus of Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC) as well as Hispanic Studies and World Cultures and Literatures in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at the University of Houston, where he served as chair (2002-2008), involving considerable work with Latin American Studies programs. Zimmerman worked in Nicaragua’s Ministerio de Cultura during the first year of the Sandinista Revolution. He has been director of Global CASA/ LACASA Books since 1998; and he has written and edited over forty books including ones on European, Latin American, Caribbean and Latino cultural and literary studies as well as several autofiction volumes of autoficiton . He has won Fulbright, Rockefeller and other major awards.
Zimmerman holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California San Diego and also an M.A. in Creative Writing (Language Arts) from San Francisco State University, where he studied with Herbert Blau, Martin Halperin, Mark Harris, James Scheville, Walter Van Tilburg Clark, Ray West, and Herbert Wilner. His early stories were published in The Dartmouth Quarterly, Descant, The Great River Review, and (in translation) Nuova Prosa, a fiction journal in Milan, Italy. More recent stories have appeared in the Chicago Latino online journal, El BeiSMan, as well as in Voices in Italian Americana and Literal, a Latin American literary journal.
In recent years, Zimmerman has completed a book on early Chicago Mexican and Chicano writing; and he has developed a digital series of interviews and related materials dealing with Chicago Latino art; he has donated these materials to the Smithsonian Institution, which has now organized many of them as a component of the Smithsonian Archives of American Art Project. Based on this ongoing work, Zimmerman has thus far published several articles, as well as four texts centered on Chicago Mexican artists José Gamaliel González (2010 and 2013), Aaron Kerlow (2015) and José Guerrero (2016). He is currently developing a book on Mexican, Puerto Rican, Central American, Cuban, Dominican and South American artists in Chicago.
Returning to his first love of creative writing, Zimmerman has been developing a series of books of autofiction (related life-based stories, dreams and fantasies organized into novel-like structures), Illusions of Memory touching on Jewish, African and Italian American, but above all Mexican/Chicano, Central American and Puerto Rican themes—with several books in progress, but more than ten already published: Stores of Winter, Sandino on the Border, Martín and Marvin, The Italian Daze, The Short of it All, Black, Genesis, Two Ways West, No Light from Heaven, Black, Brown, and White on the Border, and Managua Mon Amour (Nevermore). La penisola non trovata, an Italian-language version of The Italian Daze, was published by Greco e Greco in Milano and presented at the Torino International Milano Book Fair in 2017; Cuán alta la luna, Sandino en la frontera, Martín y Marvin, y Amores fronterizos are his Spanish-language translated books.
Zimmerman has recently lectured on Chicago Latino art at Dartmouth College, the U. of California Berkeley and San Diego, Purdue University and the Universidad de Costa Rica. He has read from his fiction in Italy at Milano’s Verso Bookstore and the Torino International Book Fair, in California at the University Press Book Store in Berkeley, the Tía Chucha Cultural Center in Sylmar, the Media Center in San Diego, the Avid Reader in Davis, and the Green Arcade in San Francisco—as well as in public libraries in East Los Angeles and La Jolla. In Chicago, he has read for the Palabra Pura program of the Guild Literary Complex, the Heirloom Bookstore, and the Rudy Lozano Public Library. In Puerto Rico, he has read at Librería Laberinto in San Juan and Librería Candil in Ponce, as well as in a seminar at El Centro de Estudios Avanzados in el Viejo San Juan.
He and his wife Esther Soler from Quebradillas, Puerto Rico, divide each year between the island and the Wicker Park/ Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago. They continue to travel each year to Minnesota, California and abroad. They hope to get back to Iberia, Italy, Mexico and South America at least one more time.