Carlos Cortez

Carlos Cortez, pictured here with his late wife Mariana, wrote poetry and created art for many years before his death in January 2005. His first book, Crystal Gazing the Amber Fluid & Other Wobbly Poems through Charles H. Kerr Publishing, was awarded the Kwanzaa Award.

March Abrazo first published de Kansas a Califas & back to Chicago in 1992.

Carlos has been recognized for his many contributions to the art world as a respected print artist whose themes deal with Chicano issues, Latino identity and worker's rights. He edited and introduced Viva Posada, also published by Charles H. Kerr Publishing, a collection of art by and writings about Mexican wood engraving artist Jose Guadalupe Posada.

Son of a Mexican Wobbly father and German socialist-pacifist mother, Cortez was born on August 13, 1923. He was raised in Milwaukee, but long made his home in Chicago. During World War II, he served two years in the federal pen at Sandstone, Minn. as a conscientious objector, and soon afterward joined the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). He has served as one of the union's best know figures--poet, artist, editor and public speaker.

Renowned especially for his powerful woodcuts and cartoons --- he is probably the only Wobbly whose work has been exhibited at New York's Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institute and leading galleries in Germany and Spain--- Cortez was also a noted columnist for the union's newspaper, the Industrial Worker  for over 20 years.

Cortez' poems and poetry collections such as Where Are the Voices? & Other Wobbly Poems (Charles H. Kerr Pub.) have received praise form the likes of Dennis Brutus and Edward Abbey. Cortez was also the editor of the book Viva  Posada! published in 2002 by Charles H. Kerr.

Those interested in his art can contact the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum in Chicago. His labor writings and papers are archived by Wayne State University, Detroit.