Scope and Content
Title: Michelle Kholos Brooks Collection of Manazar
Date (inclusive): 1939-2001
Collection number: 88
Creator: Gamboa, Manazar
University of California, Los Angeles. Library.
Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA
Los Angeles, California 90095-1490
Abstract: This collection consists of Chicano poet
Manazar Gamboa's manuscripts, plays, poems, writing notes, and his
written experiences of growing up in Chavez Ravine.
Physical location: Currently stored at the UCLA Chicano
Studies Research Center Library Archive. In the future the collection
will be stored off site at the UCLA Southern Regional Library Facility.
Language of Material: Collection materials in English
Collection is open for research.To view the collection or any part of
it, please contact the CSRC at http://www.chicano.ucla.edu/
All publication rights by permission only. Copyright has not been
assigned to the Chicano Studies Research Center. All requests for
permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in
writing to the Archivist and/or the Librarian at the Chicano Studies
Research Center Library. Permission for publication is given on behalf
of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center as the owner of the physical
items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the
copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
[Identification of item], Michelle Kholos Brooks Collection of
Manazar Gamboa Papers, 88, Chicano Studies Research Center, UCLA,
University of California, Los Angeles.
Collection donated to the UCLA Chicano Studies Library by Michelle
Kholos Brooks. Deed on file art the Archive office
Born in East L.A. in 1934 and raised in Chavez Ravine, Manazar Gamboa
spent his youth picking crops with his family across the Central and San
Fernando Valley. As one of the first Latino students to attend
Nightingale Junior High in Cypress Park he rebelled against school
authorities by speaking Spanish.
He also began to sell marijuana and steal cars. In 1954 he began his
first prison term and would spend 17 of the next 23 years behind bars.
In the 1970's Gamboa became a heroin addict and shortly after the woman
he loved overdosed and died in his arms. He then committed an armed
robbery and was sent to Soledad State Prison.
In Soledad he began to read any literature available to him taking a
particular interest in poetry. Despite the derision of his fellow
inmates he avidly read the work of the Romantics: Shelley, Keats,
Coleridge and Blake. Gamboa was given the complete works of Shakespeare
which he regarded as his greatest treasure.
He began to write poetry and was published by a journal run by a
University of Colorado professor. In 1977 Gamboa was released and joined
the L.A. poetry scene by working at Beyond Baroque, a literary center in
Venice and edited its magazine Obras. From 1981 to 1983 he was the
Director of the L.A Latino Writers Association and editor of ChismeArte
In the 1980's he began teaching writing workshops for substance abusers,
youths in juvenile halls and prison inmates often driving over 120 miles
a day to teach literacy and writing to youths across the county. In 1988
he received a Brody Arts Fund for $2500 and replaced his 1963 Dodge. In
1989 he became the Artistic Director of the Homeland Neighborhood
Cultural Center. He turned his epic poem "Memories of a Bulldozed
Barrio" into a stage performance and worked with the non-profit L.A
Theater works for over 13 years. He died in Long Beach at age 66 on Dec.
Scope and Content
This collection represents approxiamtley three linear feet of Manazar
Gamboa's research on the Chavez Ravine struggle, his original writings
on growing up in Chavez Ravine in the 1940's, unpublished manuscripts,
news clippings and computer files of his work.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this
collection in the library's online public access catalog.