A fifth generation Californian of Mexican and Native American (Chumash) heritage, Lorna Dee Cervantes was born on August 6, 1954, in San Francisco, and raised in San Jose.
She is the author of From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger (Arte Público Press, 1991) and Emplumada (1981), which won an American Book Award.
She is also co-editor of Red Dirt, a cross-cultural poetry journal, and her work has been included in many anthologies including Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry (eds. Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Jennifer Gillan, 1994), No More Masks! An Anthology of Twentieth-Century Women Poets (ed. Florence Howe, 1993), and After Aztlan: Latino Poets of the Nineties (ed. Ray González, 1992).
In 1977 she received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1995 she received a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award.
She lives in Boulder, Colorado.