Michele Serros

Michele Serros

Author, poet and social commentator Michele Serros got her professional start at Santa Monica College.

It was during her tenure as a Santa Monica College student that Lalo Press (a division of the Santa Monica Review/Santa Monica College) published Serros’ first book of poetry and short stories, “Chicana Falsa and other stories of Death, Identity, and Oxnard.” After Lalo Press shut down its operations, Serros continued to sell copies from her garage while maintaining a devoted following of fans as well as a place in academia, where Chicana Falsa became required reading at many high schools and universities. In 1998, Riverhead Books (Penguin/Putnam) reissued “Chicana Falsa” in addition to publishing Serros’ Los Angeles Times bestseller, “How to be a Chicana Role Model,” in 2000.

A former staff writer for “The George Lopez Show,” Serros also wrote for the Los Angeles Times, Ms. Magazine, Marie Claire, Cosmo Girl and The Washington Post and contributed satirical commentaries regularly for National Public Radio until her death in 2015. An award-winning spoken-word artist, she read her poems to stadium crowds as a national touring “Road Poet” for Lollapalooza, recorded “Selected Stories from Chicana Falsa” for Mercury Records, and was selected by the Poetry Society of America to place her poetry on MTA buses throughout Los Angeles County.

Serros attended Ventura College before moving to Venice and enrolling at Santa Monica College. She later transferred to UCLA, where she graduated with a degree in Chicana/o Studies cum laude in 1996.

"With the so many years I spent in college," Ms. Serros would joke, "I should have three Ph.Ds. by now."

Serros’ diverse fan base ranged from Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers to author Sandra Cisneros. Said Flea: “Michele is the great Californian writer who makes me proud of my state. When I read her books I cry and laugh and cry.” Said Cisneros: “Serros is a young, sassy writer whose brilliant weapon is her humor.”