The Virginia G. Piper
Center for Creative Writing

Home / Events / Unaccompanied

Unaccompanied with Javier Zamora

Date(s): Saturday, September 14, 2019, 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Location: 
Palabras Bilingual Bookstore, 1738 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85006
Type(s): 
Reading
Genre and Form(s): Poetry
Cost: Free

RSVP for this Event

About this Event

Join the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing for a 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).

While encouraged, RSVPs are purely for the purposes of monitoring attendance, gauging interest, and communicating information about parking, directions, and other aspects of the event. You do not have to register or RSVP to attend this event. This event is open to the public and free.

The Piper Writers Studio will also be presenting Engagement in Poetry / Engaged Poetry, a class with Javier Zamora, on Saturday, September 14, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Piper Writers House (450 E Tyler Mall, Tempe, AZ 85287). To learn more about Javier Zamora's class, visit our website at https://piper.asu.edu/classes/javier-zamora/engaged-poetry

About the Book

Javier Zamora’s debut collection, Unaccompanied, assesses borderland politics, race, and immigration on a profoundly personal level, and simultaneously remembers and imagines a birth-country that’s been left behind. Through an unflinching gaze, plainspoken diction, and a combination of Spanish and English, Unaccompanied crosses El Salvador and Mexico as families are lost and reunited, coyotes lead migrants astray, and real life fuses with myth.

About the Author

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.

Logo for Palabras: flowering prickly pear cactus coming out of open book

Palabras is Arizona's only bilingual bookstore with a carefully curated selection of titles in Spanish and English that hosts a variety of community events and workshops focused on cultural representation and diversity.

View a Map