Prolific poet, essayist, and short story writer, Arturo Islas (19381991) is well known for his two insightful novels, The Rain God and Migrant Souls. His untimely death to AIDS truncated a productive and influential career that has left an unbridgeable gap in Latino letters.
Islas was a dedicated, thoughtful, and style-conscious writer, who promoted a sense of responsibility to community and art for both writers and critics. The quality of his commitment was matched by the example he set in delving into the esthetics and psychology of gay creativity, an exploration that took him to uncompromising confrontations with his own traditional upbringing. Islas has made his mark as a writer of the U.S.-Mexico border and a leader at the forefront of exploration of more social, psychological and philosophical boundaries. As a Chicano from El Paso, and a gay Latino writer, Islas surmounted many boundaries, borders and established roles.