Judith Ortiz Cofer Additional Biography

Biography

(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Born in Hormigueros, near Mayagüez in southwest Puerto Rico, Judith Ortiz Cofer (ohr-TEEZ CO-fur) spent part of every year in Paterson, New Jersey, as she was growing up. Her father, Jesús Ortiz Lugo, who served in the U.S. Navy, was assigned to the Brooklyn Navy Yard during many of his service years. Although Ortiz’s mother, Fanny Morot Ortiz, saw to it that the family spent part of every year in Puerto Rico, they lived for long periods in Paterson, which became the setting of a great many of Ortiz’s stories. Some of these stories center on El Building, as their apartment house was called when the Jewish tenants left and large numbers of Puerto Ricans moved in. Ortiz Cofer calls El Building a vertical barrio.{$S[A]Cofer, Judith Ortiz;Ortiz Cofer, Judith}

The young Judith Ortiz attended school in Puerto Rico, where she went to San José Catholic School in San Germán, and in New Jersey, where she attended public schools and later St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Paterson. When she was sixteen, her father suffered a nervous breakdown and was forced to retire from the Navy. The family moved to Augusta, Georgia, where Judith completed high school and enrolled in Augusta College, from which she graduated in 1974. She received a master’s degree from Florida Atlantic University in 1977 and that year also studied at Oxford University.

Her first book, a reflective collection of stories entitled Latin Women Pray, appeared in 1980. Ortiz Cofer turned this collection into a play, which was produced in Atlanta in 1984. In 1981, Ortiz Cofer received a fellowship from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Vermont, where she subsequently served on the administrative staff during...

(The entire section is 699 words.)

Biography

(Literature of Developing Nations for Students)

Judith Ortiz Cofer describes herself as the product of two worlds, urban America and the island of Puerto Rico, and her work is a reflection...

(The entire section is 430 words.)

Biography

(Literature of Developing Nations for Students)

Judith Ortiz Cofer was born on February 24, 1952, in Hormigueros, Puerto Rico, to J. M. and Fanny Ortiz. Her family immigrated to the United...

(The entire section is 303 words.)

Biography

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Judith Ortiz Cofer was born in the small town of Hormigueros, Puerto Rico, on February 24, 1952. Her Puerto Rican heritage flavors her poetry...

(The entire section is 393 words.)