SARAH CORTEZ
P.O. Box 980579
Houston, TX, 77098-0579
713-304-8969
www.poetacortez.com

EDUCATION

Peace Officer Certification, University of Houston, Criminal Justice Center, Houston, TX, 1993.
M.S., Accountancy, University of Houston, Houston, TX, 1982.
M.A., Classical Studies, University of Texas–Austin, Austin, TX, 1979.
B.A., Psychology & Religion, Rice University, Houston, TX, 1972.

PUBLICATIONS
Books

Author, Tired, Hungry, Standing in One Place for Twelve Hours: Essential Cop Essays, (Huntsville: Texas Review Press, 2017, forthcoming)
Editor, Vanishing Points: Poems & Photographs of Texas Roadside Memorials (Huntsville: Texas Review Press, 2016)    
Editor, Goodbye, Mexico: Poems of Remembrance, (Huntsville: Texas Review Press, 2015)
Author, Cold Blue Steel, collected poems (Huntsville: Texas Review Press, 2013)
Editor, Our Lost Border: Life Amid the Narco-Violence, (Houston: Arte Público Press, 2013)
Author, Walking Home: Growing up Hispanic in Houston, Texas (Huntsville: Texas Review Press, 2012)
Editor, You Don’t Have A Clue, (Houston: Arte Público Press, 2011)
Editor, Indian Country Noir, (New York, Akashic Books, 2010).
Editor, Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery, (Arte Público Press, 2009).
Editor, Windows into My World: Latino Youth Write Their Lives (Houston: Arte Público Press, 2007).
Author, “Visions of the City: A Classroom Experience,” a chapter in Latino/a Discourses On Language, Identity, and Literacy Education, ed. Michelle Hall Kells, Valerie M. Balester, and Victor Villanueva (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2003). 
Editor, Urban-Speak: Poetry of the City (Houston: University of Houston, Center for Mexican American Studies, 2001).
Author, How to Undress a Cop, collected poems (Houston: Arte Público Press, 2000).

Poetry

My poetry has been published in diverse literary magazines and widely anthologized.  A sample of publications follows.   (Additional detail available upon request.)

Texas Weather: An Anthology (forthcoming, 2016)
riverSedge, (Vol. XXIX, issue 1, 2016)
Lucidity, (Vol. 30, No. 4, 2016).
Texas Review Press, Spring/Summer 2016.
Voices de la Luna, Vol. 8, No. 3, May 2016.
LABOR: Studies in Working Class History, Spring 2016, (Guest Editor, Jim Daniels)
Cenizo Journal, Winter, 2015-16.
Texas Monthly, October 2015.
Her Texas: Story, Image, Poem & Song, (Wings Press, 2015).
Untameable City: Poems on the Nature of Houston, (Mutabilis Press, 2015).
The Blue Hole, Fall 2015.
Life & Legends, (online publication, 2015). (Guest editor, Melissa Studard)
Post Road, (Fall, 2015) (Guest editor, Paul Mariani)
San Pedro River Review, Spring 2014.
Langdon Review of the Arts, vol. 10, 2013-14.
The Texas Review, Spring/Summer 2013.
Louisiana Literature, vol.29, No. 2, 2012.
San Pedro River Review, Fall 2012.
Rattle, vol. 18, no. 1, Summer 2012.
Dressing Room Poetry Journal, June 2012.
Taking Action: Readings for Civic Reflection, ed. Adam Davis, The Great Books Foundation, 2012.
Windhover:A Journal of Christian Literature, vol. 16, Spring 2012.
Blue Rock Review, November 2011.
JJournal, a publication of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (New York, 2008).
TimeSlice: Houston Poetry 2005, ed. Robert and Carolyn Florek (Houston, TX: Mutabilis Press, 2005)
Contemporary American Poetry: A Pocket Anthology, First Edition, ed. R.S. Gwynn and A. Lindner (New York: Longman Publishers, 2004)
Riding Low on the Streets of Gold: Latino Literature for Young Adults, ed. Judith Ortiz Cofer (Houston, TX: Arte Público Press, 2003).
The Texas Review (Spring/Summer 2003).
Off the Cuffs, ed. Jackie Sheeler (Brooklyn, NY: Soft Skull Press, January 2003).
The Texas Review (Spring/Summer 2002).
Texas in Poetry II, an anthology, ed. Billy Bob Hill (Dallas: Texas Christian University, 2002).
Red Boots and Attitude: An Eclectic Anthology Showcasing Contemporary Texas Women Writers, ed. Diane Fanning and Susie Kelly Flatau (Austin, TX: Eakin Press, 2002).
Poetry: A Pocket Anthology, Third Edition, ed. R. S. Gwynn (New York: Longman Publishers, 2001).
Houston Poetry Fest 2001: Anthology (Fall 2001) Houston, TX.
Pennsylvania English 23:122 (2000/2001): 44.    
Pennsylvania English 23:122 (2000/2001): 43.
The Midwest Quarterly (January 2001) Pittsburgh, KS.
Houston Poetry Fest 2000: Anthology (Fall 2000) Houston, TX. 
Louisiana Literature (Spring 2000) Hammond, LA.
The Midwest Quarterly (Summer 2000) Pittsburgh, KS.
The Texas Observer (December 1998) Austin, TX.
WomenPolice 32:1 (Summer 1998) Deer Isle, Maine.
TEX! (Spring 1998) Dallas, TX.
MA KA: Diasporic Juks, eds. Debbie Douglas, Courtnay McFarlane, Makeda Silvera, Douglas Stewart, (Toronto, Canada: Sister Vision Press, 1997).
“Her” in Chiron Review 11:4 (Winter 1992).

Personal Essay

“Creativity,” Tarleton State University Literary Magazine, 2016.
“Larry D. Thomas and Laurie Ann Guerrero: New Titles,” Southwestern American Literature, (Fall 2015).
“More Cops on the Beat,” Rattle, vol. 18, no. 1, Summer 2012.
“Across the River,” in Our Lost Border: Life Amid the Narco-Violence (Arte Público Press, 2013)
" Learning Spanish," in Chicanas in the Conversations, ed. Elizabeth Kessler and Anne Perrin, (New York: Longman Publishers, 2006)
“The Dance,” in Red Boots and Attitude: An Eclectic Anthology Showcasing Contemporary Texas Women Writers, ed. Diane Fanning and Susie Kelly Flatau (Austin, TX: Eakin Press, 2002).
“Houston” in The Good Book: Essays by Twenty Houstonians, private commission, December 2000, Houston, TX.
“Truth” in The Bayou Review (Spring 2001) Houston, TX.
Untitled in The Sun, special issue  “Law and Order,” No. 229, January 1995.
“Letters” in Common Lives 42 (Spring 1992).

Short Fiction

Arcadia: Feature on the New Chican@s, 2016, “Everybody’s Got a Price,” (Guest editor, Ito Romo)
New Texas: A Journal of Literature and Culture, 2012.
“For You, Mother,” in You Don’t Have a Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens, (Houston, TX, Arte Publico Press, 2011).
“In My Hands” in Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery, (Houston, TX, Arte Publico Press, 2009).
“Journeys” in Coyote, (August 2000), Houston, TX.
“Avenue de l’Opera” in Plural Desires, ed. The Bisexual Anthology Collective (Toronto, Canada: Sister Vision Press, 1995).
One short fiction piece exhibited by The Art Gize, in “Fax of Life,” Houston, TX, May 1992.
    
Magazine Articles

"The Street Officer's Role in Combating Terrorism" in Police Officers Quarterly (New York: Spring 2004: Volume 4, issue 1)
"Telling the Personal Police Story through Memoir” in Police Officers Quarterly (New York: Winter 2003: Volume 3, issue 4)
“2003’s CMAS Scholar: a Chip off the ol’ Block,” co-authored with Leticia Konigsberg in University of Houston Campus News: A publication for UH faculty and staff (Houston, TX: September 25, 2003.)
“Daniel Rodriguez: The Voice of the NYPD,” in Police Officers Quarterly (New York: Summer 2002).
“Misunderstanding of Pain Medication Ruins Hero Sheriff’s Career”, in Police Officer’s Quarterly (New York: Winter 2001).

Book Reviews

“One Blackbird at a Time” published by Texas Books in Review, Spring/Summer 2016.
“If I Go Missing: Poems by Octavio Quintanilla” (Southwestern American Literature, Fall 2014)
“Presence: Poems by Scott Wiggerman,” published in Texas Review of Books, vol. XXXII, No. 2,  
Summer 2012.
"Anything You Know Can and Will Be Used Against You: Fiction by Laurie Lynn Drummond," published in the Dallas Morning News, May 23, 2004.
“Sin Puertas Visibiles: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry by Mexican Women,” ed. Jen Hofer, published in The Texas Review, Fall/Winter 03.

Interviews

“Latina Authors & Their Muses,” ed. Mayra Calvani (Twilight Times Books, San Francisco, 2015).

Newsletters

Noticias,” University of Houston, Center for Mexican American Studies, two issues annually from Spring 2003 through 2015.

Presentations

I have made presentations at the Texas Book Festival, the Texas Library Association’s conference, NCTE, ALA, AWP, and other national conferences.  (Additional detail available upon request.)
Moderator, AWP, “A Reading from Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery,” April 9, 2010.
Panelist, SCMLA, "Espacios Literarios Para Nosotras/Hispanic Women's Literary Spaces," October 27,  2005.
Panelist, SCMLA, "Is Life Stranger than Fiction or Vice Versa?" October 30, 2004.

Manuscripts and Prayers

One prayer in Rejoice! Reveal!! Renew!!!: Lenten Meditations by and for the Family of St. Stephens, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (Spring 2001) Houston, TX.
One manuscript published as a Beta Alpha Psi National Graduate Manuscript winner, 1980 81 on the topic of “Management Fraud Control: What, When, How?”


 EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

Fall 2006 - Feb. 2009 - Security Director, AlliedBarton Security Services, the largest security company in the U.S. dedicated to providing quality crime prevention, risk management, and customer service. I managed a staff numbering from twenty to fifty individuals, seasonally.  Responsible from hiring, training, equipment, and tracking crime trends, in addition to contract compliance.  Responsible for coordination of all aspects of operations.

Spring 2004 - Fall 2006 - Program Director, The River Performing and Visual Arts Center, a nonprofit dedicated to providing barrier-free, affordable classes in the fine arts to children with special needs.  Responsible for all program operational issues, including hiring, supervising personnel, contract issues, building and supplies issues, interface with parents, donors,  board members, and volunteers.  Responsible for writing course descriptions, newsletters, and fund-raising letters and brochures.  Responsible for writing all training materials for contractors, employees, and volunteers, as well as conducting training.  The programs within my area of responsibility incorporated (on a seasonal basis) seventeen sites, almost sixty personnel, and over one hundred volunteers.  Before assuming employee status, I performed these duties as a consultant.

Fall/Winter 2003 - Site Coordinator for The River Performing and Visual Arts Center, a nonprofit dedicated to providing quality arts education to children with special needs. Responsible for coordination and communication among teachers, parents, and staff to ensure optimal services for children. Responsible for the enforcement of the organization’s policies. Also, charged to write the current course catalogs and newsletters.

1999-2010 - University of Houston
1999-2001 - Visiting Scholar, University of Houston - During this time period, I edited a book of poetry subsequently published by the Center for Mexican American Studies.  I also inaugurated two courses of English/Creative Writing, entitled Urban Poetry: Visions of the City and Memoir and Mexican American Identity.  Both of these courses enable a student who is not an English major nor who has  a Creative Writing concentration to learn to write in a genre, revise multiple times, and respond to texts as a working writer.  I excel at teaching students who have been, or still are, fearful of writing.
2002-2008 - Lecturer, University of Houston - During this time period, I taught the two courses I inaugurated.  Some of my students won state-wide writing competitions.
Editor, Center for Mexican American Studies, Noticias, responsible for interviewing faculty, staff, and Board members as preparation for articles.  Also, responsible for writing articles and copy-editing newsletter.  
Consultant, Center for Mexican American Studies, responsible for helping write fund-raising brochures and letters.

POLICE EXPERIENCE

Jan. 1998-present - Deputy, Harris County Constable, Precinct Four. Assigned to the Patrol Division.  Respond to calls for service, write reports, and oversee traffic enforcement and pro-active crime prevention. Responsible for case investigation and testifying in court.  Since February 1999, I have functioned as a reserve officer rather than as a full-time officer.

1994-1998 - Corporal, and Police Officer, University of Houston, Assigned to Patrol Division.  Respond to calls for service, write reports, train new police officers, train sexual assault investigators, traffic enforcement, crime prevention speaker.

CREATIVE WRITING EDUCATION & WORKSHOPS

2001-1987 - I have been privileged to study with such poets as Naomi Shihab Nye, Ed Hirsch, and Olga Broumas. I have also studied fiction with Edward Hirsch and Thomas Cobb. I have studied creative non-fiction with Richard Rodriguez. (Detail available upon request.)

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Present-1999 - During this time frame, I have taught creative writing, not only at the University Houston but also for such diverse groups as the Houston Police Department, the International Association of Women Police, Writers in The Schools, The C.G. Jung Center, the Police Writers Association, and many others.  I have been featured as a Visiting Writer in order to conduct classes at multiple levels and give public presentations at such universities as Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi, Texas A&M University - Kingsville, and Sul Ross State University, Angelo State University, and countless ISDs.  (Detail available upon request.)

July 2003 & July 2002 - I conceptualized, initiated, administered, and taught a series of week-long advanced creative writing workshops in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico for students from both the U.S. and Mexico.  Topics included: The Voice of the Poem; The Art in Memoir, and Crossing Borders: Crossing Genres.

FELLOWSHIPS, HONORS, & AWARDS

2015    Honorable Mention, International Latino Book Awards, Goodbye, Mexico: Poems of Remembrance.
2015    Finalist, Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards in Creative Nonfiction
2014    Finalist, State Poet Laureate of Texas
2014    Finalist, Writer’s League of Texas Poetry Award, Cold Blue Steel.
2014    Winner, International Latino Book Award, Our Lost Border: Essays on Life Amid the Narco-Violence.
2014    Southwest Book Award, Our Lost Border: Essays on Life Amid the Narco-Violence.
2013    Finalist, Houston Poet Laureate
2013    Honorable Mention, Walking Home: Growing Up Hispanic in Houston, Los Angeles Festival of Books.
2013    Honorable Mention, Walking Home: Growing Up Hispanic in Houston, Great Southwest Book Festival.
2012    Honorable Mention, You Don’t Have a Clue, International Latino Book Awards, 2012
2011     Semi-finalist, Rattle: Poetry for the 21st Century, annual contest.
2009    Commissioned to write and deliver a poem for the United Nations, New York City for the Eighth Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
2008    2008 Skipping Stones Honor Award,  Windows into My World.   
2007    Honorable Mention, Texas Poetry Calendar (Dos Gatos Press) by poet Kathleen Peirce.
2004-06    Mayoral Appointment to the Municipal Art Commission, City of Houston.
Jan. 2003    Commissioned to write and deliver a poem for Mayor Bill White's Inauguration.
2003     Selected as a Fellow by the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Sweetbriar, VA.
2001      Selected as a Poet honored in the “Poetry In Motion” Program sponsored by The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas. Poetry appeared August 2002.
2000     Selected as a Juried Poet in the Houston Poetry Fest 2000, Houston, TX. 
2000-2001    Visiting Scholar, University of Houston’s Center for Mexican American Studies.
March 2000    Semi-finalist, Fourteenth Annual Louisiana Literature Prize for Poetry.
1999-2000    Visiting Scholar, University of Houston’s Center for Mexican American Studies.
1999    PEN Texas Literary Award for Poetry. 
June 1993    Selected Honor Graduate by the Faculty, University of Houston Criminal Justice Center.
June 1993    Outstanding Academic Achievement Award, University of Houston Criminal Justice Center.
June 1993    Special Commendation, Physical Training, University of Houston, Criminal Justice Center.
Feb. 1993    Elected Class Lieutenant, Class No. 99, University of Houston Criminal Justice Center.
1981    University of Houston, Honorable Mention, Graduate Manuscript Contest.
1976-1977    University of Texas-Austin, University Fellowship.
1971-1972    Rice University, President’s Honor Roll, May 1971, January 1972, May 1972.

MEMBERSHIPS

Texas Institute of Letters, induction 2010. 
Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators, 2013-present.
Authors Guild, 2010-present.
PEN Texas, Houston Chapter, 1999-2003.
The Police Writers Association, a national organization, 1996-2012. The organization is now called The Public Safety Writers Association.  
South Central Modern Language Association, 2005-06.    

BOARDS  AND  COMMISSIONS

Treasurer, Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers (TACWT), 2015-16.
Texas Institute of Letters, Councilor, 2014-2018
Municipal Art Commission, City of Houston, 2004-06.
St. Agnes Academy, Alumnae Board, Houston, TX, 2004-07.
Talento Bilingue de Houston, Mayoral appointment 2005-06.
Women on the Rise, Advisory Board, 2005-07

REFERENCES

Dr. Tatcho Mindiola, University of Houston   Central, Director, Center for Mexican American Studies, 4800 Calhoun, Houston, TX, 77204. Telephone: (713) 743 3134.

Dr. Thomas Cobb, Director of Creative Writing, Professor of English, Rhode Island College, 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Providence, RI 02925. Telephone: (401) 456-8115.

Dr. Edward Hirsch, President, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, 90 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016.  Telephone: (212) 687-4470.