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Photograph of Javier Zamora

Engagement in Poetry / Engaged Poetry with Javier Zamora

Date(s): Saturday, September 14, 2019, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location:
Piper Writers House, 450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85281 (view map)
Type(s):
Workshop, Generative Workshop
Genre and Form(s): Poetry, Social Justice
Cost: $119 Regular, $99 Student

About the Class

What keeps us engaged? What drives us down the page to the end of the poem? We will explore “speed” or “momentum,” by analyzing poems that keep our attention. But also, we will explore how as writers, we can be engaged with our surrounding world, to the point that we must do something about it. We will look at poems that have been a “call to arms” of sorts. To inspire our creativity, we will look at the current headlines to draw poetry from the media. This workshop will be half generative and half revision.

The Distinguished Visiting Writers Series will also be presenting poetry reading with Javier Zamora on Saturday, September 14, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Palabras Bilingual Bookstore (1738 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85006). To learn more about the reading, visit our website at https://piper.asu.edu/events/javier-zamora.

Meet Your Instructor

Photograph of Javier Zamora

Javier Zamora was born in El Salvador and migrated to the United States in 1999 when he was nine—traveling unaccompanied 4,000 miles, across multiple borders, from El Salvador to the US to be reunited with his parents. Unaccompanied (Copper Canyon Press 2017), his first poetry collection, explores how immigration and civil war have impacted his life and family. He is also the author of the chapbook Nueve Anos Inmigrantes/Nine Immigrant Years, which won the 2011 Organic Weapon Arts Contest. 

In a 2014 interview for the National Endowment for the Arts Art Works Blog, Zamora stated, “I think in the United States we forget that writing and carrying that banner of ‘being a poet’ is tied into a long history of people that have literally risked [their lives] and died to write those words.” After selecting Zamora as winner of the 2017 Narrative Prize, co-founder and editor Tom Jenks said: “In sinuous plainsong that evokes the combined strengths, the bright celebrations, and the dark sorrows of two Americas sharing and transcending borders, Javier Zamora’s verse affirms human commonality and aspiration.” 

Zamora holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied and taught in June Jordan’s Poetry for the People program. Zamora earned an MFA from New York University and was recently a 2016–2018 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.

Zamora has been granted fellowships from CantoMundo, Colgate University, MacDowell Artist Colony, the National Endowment for the Arts, Poetry Foundation, and Yaddo. The recipient of a 2017 Lannan Literary Fellowship, the 2017 Narrative Prize, and the 2016 Barnes and Noble Writer for Writers Award; Zamora’s poems appear in Granta, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, The New York Times, and elsewhere. He is a member of the Our Parents’ Bones Campaign, whose goal is to bring justice to the families of the ten thousand disappeared during El Salvador’s civil war.

He lives in Cambridge where he is a 2018-2019 Radcliffe Institute Fellow at Harvard University.

About the Piper Writers Studio

The Piper Writers Studio is committed to supporting writers in every stage of their development by providing challenging, diverse, and accessible educational opportunities. All classes are not-for-credit, and are intended for an open to the public. You do not need to be an ASU student to attend. Writers of all backgrounds, genres, and experience levels are welcome. Discounts for students, senior citizens, individuals experiencing economic challenges, and other groups are available for every class. To learn more about the Piper Writer Studio, visit our website at http://piper.asu.edu/classes/about.