In 2002, Montoya was named as Sacramento's third poet laureate.
Montoya also co-founded the "Royal Chicano Air Force" in the late 1960s, an influential art collective that worked with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers union.
He talked about the "RCAF" during an appearance on Capital Public Radio's "Insight" three years ago.
"In those days we were very much into the political side of who were were as artists and people began to wonder what our connection was to the Royal Canadian Air Force. And we said 'no, it's the Royal Chicano Air Force, we fly adobe airplanes."
Montoya taught art at Sacramento State for nearly 30 years.