Cruz, Cynthia

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Cruz, Cynthia


Born in Germany. Education: Mills College, B.A.; Sarah Lawrence College, M.F.A.


Home—New York, NY.


Poet. Taught writing and literature at Fordham University, New York, NY, and Westchester Community College, Valhalla, NY; Queens College, City University of New York, Flushing, NY, adjunct lecturer. Conducts reading and writing and poetry workshops for students, homeless children, patients, and at-risk teens.


Residencies at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony.


Ruin (poems), Alice James Books (Farmington, ME), 2006.

Work represented in anthologies, including Isn't It Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger American Poets, edited by Brett Fletcher Lauer and Aimee Kelley, Verse Press (Amherst, MA), 2004; and The Iowa Anthology of New American Poetries, University of Iowa Press, 2004. Contributor of poems to journals, including Paris Review, Boston Review, Grand Sreet, Agni, Chelsea, Pleiades, New Orleans Review, Bellevue Literary Review, and Black Warrior Review.


Poet Cynthia Cruz was born on a U.S. Air Force base in Germany and grew up in California. Her poems were published in journals and collections before Ruin, her own collection, was released. The thirty-five poems follow the coming-of-age of a girl who lost her brother, possibly to suicide. Small Spiral Notebook contributor Tom Haushalter wrote: "The truth is, the necessary events are adequately conveyed; to enjoy these poems, then, is to permit the elliptical mind of a poet deeply grieved and disquieted, who is sifting through detritus and artifacts presumably to find reconciliation, or a way to heal."

The book is divided into four subsections, two each in sections titled "In the Kingdom" and "Praying." The poems are passionate and dark, "tough, sometimes hard to swallow, but certainly compelling," commented Doris Lynch in the Library Journal. New York Times Book Review contributor Joel Brouwer wrote that the poems in this collection "are most moving when she reins in her more free-floating imagery and focuses her ruthless scrutiny upon her cast of sad characters," noting that this cast includes Cruz herself. A Publishers Weekly reviewer described Cruz as "a new poet to watch."



Library Journal, July 1, 2006, Doris Lynch, review of Ruin, p. 82.

New York Times Book Review, December 10, 2006, Joel Brouwer, review of Ruin, p. 14.

Publishers Weekly, August 28, 2006, review of Ruin, p. 34.


San Francisco Humanities Review Online, (July 18, 2007), George Leonard, review of Ruin.

Small Spiral Notebook, (July 18, 2007), Tom Haushalter, review of Ruin.

Teachers & Writers Collaborative Web site, (July 18, 2007), biography.

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Cruz, Cynthia

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