Desert Nights, Rising Stars Community Presenter 2020
About Judith Santopietro
Judith Santopietro was born in Córdoba (Veracruz, México) in 1983, though she was also raised between Ixhuatlán del Café and Boca del Monte, native communities in the Altas Montañas to which her family belongs. There she first heard stories about nahuales, chaneques, flying women, and other extraordinary beings from the Mesoamerican world. Her mother tongue is Spanish; nevertheless, she has learned Nahuatl for political reasons and to honor her foremothers who dreamed and lived in that language. Judith holds a Master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and has carried out research residencies in the Sierra de Zongolica and Tecomate (Veracruz), the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (Texas), and the University of Leiden (Netherlands), as well as in New York and Bolivia. She directed the project Iguanazul: Literature in Indigenous Languages, and has published the books Palabras de Agua (Instituto Veracruzano de Cultura-Praxis, 2010) and Tiawanaku. Poemas de la Madre Coqa (Hanan Harawi Editores, 2017) —the first version in Spanish—, as well as the essay “Migrantes nahuas celebran a Santiago Apóstol: un ejercicio de comunalidad en Nueva York” (Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas, 2017/ Leiden University Press, 2016). She was awarded the Lázara Meldiú National Poetry Prize in 2014 and was a finalist for the International Literary Prize “Aura Estrada” in 2017. She has published in the Anuario de Poesía Mexicana 2006(Fondo de Cultura Económica), Rio Grande Review, La Jornada and The Brooklyn Rail, and has also participated in numerous festivals, including PEN America’s World Voices Festival in Nueva York, 2018. Her updated re-edition of Poemas de la madre coqa was published in bilingual format (trans. Ilana Luna) at Orca Libros.