liz gonzález
Writer, Instructor, Funkifizer,
Animal and Nature Lover

Dancing in the Santa Ana Winds Book Cover

Dancing in the Santa Ana Winds: Poems y Cuentos New and Selected contains twenty-five years of liz gonzález’s best writing. She explores memories, pivotal experiences, and cultural influences that shaped her: The death of a young father, family relationships that nurture and challenge, and the joys and struggles of growing up as a nontraditional Catholic Mexican American. Set against the diverse landscapes of the San Bernardino Valley and Los Angeles, these richly textured and sometimes humorous works, real and imagined, illuminate the trials and beauty of girls’ and women’s journeys to reclaim themselves.

Like the crackling riffs emanating from the backseat speaker on an old Impala, these poems and stories sing us back in time. With the Santa Ana winds howling down Cajón Pass, liz gonzález takes us on a cruise past calico-hued hillsides, white picket fence houses, and flailing yucca swords slashing the moonlight. Thank you, liz, for introducing us to this collection of jovencitos, viejos, psychics, contortionists, cholo heroes, and Mexican Jesus at the wheel. Your abuelita would be proud!
Levi Romero, New Mexico Centennial Poet 2012

The Inland Empire, a vast, spreading metropolis 60 or so miles west of Los Angeles, land once inhabited by the Tongva and Cahuilla tribes, then rancheros, then orange groves, then suburbs--then the poet liz gonzález. Some believe the Inland Empire is bereft of culture, but not in her poetry, rich as it is with luscious detail. Overlaid with the rituals and imagery of the Catholic church and 70s rock, funk, and R&B bands pouring from car radios, the Inland Empire is alive with culture, sensation and the fullness of life.  And whether it knows it or not, it even has its own de facto poet laureate. liz gonzález.
Suzanne Lummis, author of Open Twenty-Four Hours: Poems

This collection of poetry and prose by liz gonzalez heralds another watermark in the the enduring presence of a vital Southern California writer whose generational and cultural/geographic roots run as deeply from the Santa Ana waters of the Inland Empire, where she was born and raised, all the way to the Pacific Ocean, by whose Los Angeles shorelines she now resides. With unabashed introspections on her own family of origin - a closely-knit, intergenerational household - and her negotiations of the cultural diaspora around her, gonzalez leads readers through layers of language-ecologies and stories that are so strongly her own, and yet, resonate with recognizable elements on topics of family traditions, identity, coming of age and negotiating the world as a woman. Dancing in the Santa Ana Winds is a tour de force, an enjoyable/provocative read, and won't let you go, even after you've turned the last page.
Ruth Nolan, author of Ruby Mountain, co-editor of Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California and editor of No Place for a Puritan: the Literature of California's Deserts.

Available for purchase from:
Los Nietos Press


liz reads a few poems and discusses her book and more in an interview with Antonio Ruiz at Palacio Magazine.