That's when I decided I would write about something my classmates could write better than me." She conformed to American literary canons and adopted a writing style that was purposely opposite that of her classmates, realizing that instead of being something to be ashamed of, her own cultural environment was a source of inspiration.
From then on, she would write of her "neighbors, the people [she] saw, the poverty that the women had gone through."So to me it began there, and that's when I intentionally started writing about all the things in my culture that were different from them—the poems that are these city voices—the first part of Wicked Wicked ways—and the stories in House on Mango Street.
Ganz notes that Cisneros's childhood loneliness was instrumental in shaping her later passion for writing.
Cisneros's one strong female influence was her mother, Elvira, who was a voracious reader and more enlightened and socially conscious than her father.
Although Cisneros had written her first poem around the age of ten, with her teacher's encouragement she became known for her writing throughout her high-school years.
In high school she wrote poetry and was the literary magazine editor, but, according to herself, she did not really start writing until her first creative writing class in college in 1974. She explains, "I rejected what was at hand and emulated the voices of the poets I admired in books: big male voices like James Wright and Richard Hugo and Theodore Roethke, all wrong for me." Cisneros was awarded a bachelor of arts degree from Loyola University Chicago in 1976, and received a master of fine arts degree from the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa in 1978.
In 1978, after finishing her MFA degree, she taught former high-school dropouts at the Latino Youth High School in Chicago.
The 1984 publication of The House on Mango Street secured her a succession of writer-in-residence posts at universities in the United States, teaching creative writing at institutions such as the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Michigan.
Sandra Cisneros (born December 20, 1954) is an American writer.
She is best known for her first novel The House on Mango Street (1983) and her subsequent short story collection Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (1991).