Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro

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Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro
Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro.jpg
Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro in 2019
Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro

(1970-10-29) October 29, 1970 (age 52)
NationalityPuerto Rican
Occupation(s)Novelist, short story writer and essayist

Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro (born October 29, 1970) is a Puerto Rican novelist, short story writer and essayist.


Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro was born on 29 October 1970 in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, and was raised by her grandparents, Petronila Cartagena and Saturnino Pizarro.[1] She began writing at an early age in school newsletters and newspapers and won drawing and essay competitions at the Colegio San Vicente Ferrer in Cataño. In 1989 she won the intra-university competition of the Bayamón Central University with the story "Vimbi Botella." In 1990 she directed a play entitled ¿A dónde va el amor? (Where Does Love Go?) based on her own script, which was staged in Barrio Amelia, a poor neighborhood in Guaynabo where the author was raised.

In 2004, Arroyo published her first book of short stories Origami de letras (Letter Origami). The following year published her first novel Los documentados (The Documented) which deals with migration conditions in the Caribbean, specifically from Hispaniola to Puerto Rico. This novel won the PEN Club Prize for 2006. In 2007 she published a new book of short stories, Ojos de Luna (Moon Eyes) in which she explores the ways in which eviction, solidarity, and spiritual barriers marginalize people. The book was selected by El Nuevo Día as one of the best in 2007[2] and was a finalist in the Puerto Rican Literature National Award.[1] That same year she was chosen as one of the most important Latin American writers under 39 years of age[2] as part of Bogotá39, convened by UNESCO, the Hay Festival, and the Ministry of Culture in Bogotá.[1] She was the only representative from Puerto Rico.[2]

In 2011, Salón Literario Libroamérica de Puerto Rico selected Arroyo's new book Caparazones, as the best new novel and the same year she was awarded a writer-in-residency grant by the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Latina Writers Convention recognized her short story Los cojones de una mujer sin pecho at their 2012 convention. Arroyo's body of work consists of two novels, three collections of poetry, nine short story books and contributions to more than two dozen anthologies.[1] Arroyo has broadcast as a radio host of Kooltureate for Bonita Radio and is the Chief Editor of the literary journal Revista Boreales. In addition her own publications, she regularly contributes to newspapers such as Claridad, La Expresión, El Nuevo Día, and El Vocero.[2] She has served as a member of the jury for the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Award Guadalajara International Book Fair for several years.[1]

Arroyo frequently writes about LGBT issues in her work and has participated with other writers and activists in the LGBTTIQ and African-descent communities in conferences and symposia held in Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Spain, and Venezuela.[1][3] In 2014, she and her partner, Zulma Oliveras Vega joined the same-sex marriage case Conde-Vidal v. Rius-Armendariz.[3] When the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that the island's marriage ban was unconstitutional,[4] Arroyo and Oliveras became the first same-sex couple to marry in Puerto Rico.[5][6]


Arroyo Pizarro has been published in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Panama, Guatemala, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Denmark, Hungary, and France. Her work has been translated to English, Italian, French, and Hungarian.[7]


  • 2003 Origami de letras, 2003, Publicaciones Puertorriqueñas, Puerto Rico.
  • 2005 Los documentados, 2005, Editorial Situm, Puerto Rico.
  • 2007 Ojos de luna, 2007, Terranova Editores, Puerto Rico.
  • 2009 Historias para morderte los labios
  • 2010 Cachaperismos: poesía y narrativa lesboerótica (lesbian erotic short stories and poems selection from lesbian authors)
  • 2010 Caparazones (novel)
  • 2010 Medialengua: moitié langue, petits poèmes et des histoires
  • 2013 Violeta, (novel)
  • 2016 Las negras
  • 2017 TRANScaribeñx, Editorial EGALES, Barcelona-Madrid (short stories)
  • 2018 Pelo Bueno, EDP University Press (children's book)

Short stories[edit]

  • "Las ballenas grises" (Primer Premio Certamen Pepe Fuera de Borda de Argentina 2006)
  • "El coleccionista de latidos" (Primer Premio Certamen Pepe Fuera de Borda de Argentina 2005)
  • "Orión", from Origami de letras
  • "Virginia", from Origami de letras
  • "Manos Dibujando", Revista Antropofagia, Argentina 2008
  • "Fahrenheit" (story in Derivas.net)
  • "Rapiña", (story in Letralia.com)
  • "Andanas" (story in Sinister Wisdom's 97th Publication; Summer 2015)


  • Selected poems, Antología Mujer Rota


  • Premio Nacional del Instituto de Literatura Puerto-rriqueña (2008)[7]
  • Premio del Instituto de Cultura de Puerto Rico (2012)[7]
  • Her book Ojos de Luna was selected as book of the year in 2007 by the magazine El Nuevo Día[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Vázquez Cruz, Carlos (2016). "Arroyo Pizarro, Yolanda (1970– )". In Knight, Franklin W.; Gates, Jr, Henry Louis (eds.). Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro–Latin American Biography. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-199-93580-2.  – via Oxford University Press's Reference Online (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c d "Yolanda A. Pizarro". Vilar Creative Agency. 13 October 2011. Archived from the original on 30 April 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b Arelis Quezada, Janet (14 April 2015). "2 Women, 1 Daughter, a Beautiful Island and a Big Struggle for Equality". The Huffington Post. New York, New York. Archived from the original on 17 April 2015. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  4. ^ Lavers, Michael K. (18 July 2015). "Plaintiffs in Puerto Rico marriage case marry". The Washington Blade. Washington, D.C. Archived from the original on 20 October 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  5. ^ Guzmán, Marcos Billy (17 July 2015). "Celebran la primera boda entre mujeres en la Isla" [Celebrate the first marriage between women on the Island]. El Nuevo Día (in Spanish). Ponce, Puerto Rico. Archived from the original on 4 July 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  6. ^ Melo, Juan Carlos (21 July 2015). "La boda de ellas, preparativos de primera boda gay" [Women's wedding, preparations for first gay wedding] (in Spanish). San Juan, Puerto Rico: Metro Puerto Rico. Archived from the original on 24 March 2017. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d Castro and Cabral, Nívea and Geny (2015). Sinister Wisdom: Out Latina Lesbians. Berkeley, CA: Sinister Wisdom. p. 204. ISBN 978-1-938334-19-1.

External links[edit]