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To never have risked our lives: An AGNI Portfolio

To never have risked our lives: An AGNI Portfolio

Thursday, May 16, 2024 - 7:00PM ET
Event Location: 

Join the Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith for a virtual event to discuss and celebrate To never have risked our lives: An AGNI Portfolio of Central American and Mexican Diaspora Writing. Co-editors Ben Black, Jennifer De Leon, and Esteban Rodríguez will be joined by contributors Sara Borjas, Felicia Zamora, Vincent Antonio Rendoni, William Archila, Krista Timeus Cerezo, and Alexandra Lytton Regalado.

Curated by editors Ben Black, Jennifer De Leon, and Esteban Rodríguez, this portfolio collects fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from the Panamanian, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, Honduran, and Mexican diasporas, documenting a shared existence that transcends geographic, physical, and spiritual borders. The launch will feature readings from portfolio contributors Sara Borjas, Felicia Zamora, Vincent Antonio Rendoni, William Archila, Krista Timeus Cerezo, and Alexandra Lytton Regalado.

Ben Black’s work has been published in Best MicrofictionThe Southampton ReviewNew American WritingWigleafHarpur Palate, and The Los Angeles Review. His stories have been finalists for the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, the Calvino Prize, the Omnidawn Fabulist Fiction Chapbook Contest, and the Fairy Tale Review Award in Prose. He teaches English and creative writing in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Jennifer De Leon is author of the YA novels Borderless (Simon & Schuster, 2023); Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From(Simon & Schuster, 2020), which was chosen as a Junior Library Guild selection; and the essay collection White Space: Essays on Culture, Race, & Writing (UMass Press, 2021), which received the Juniper Prize in Creative Nonfiction. She is also the editor of Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education (University of Nebraska Press, 2014), an anthology that won an International Latino Book Award, and the author of two forthcoming children’s picture books—Sammy and Samueland a biography of Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú. Associate professor of creative writing at Framingham State University and a faculty member in the Newport MFA in Creative Writing program at Salve Regina University, she has published her prose in Ploughshares, The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Michigan Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. In 2022 De Leon founded Story Bridge, which brings together people from all walks of life to shape, share, and hear each other’s unique stories. She makes her home outside Boston with her husband and two sons.

Esteban Rodríguez is the author of eight poetry collections, most recently Lotería (Texas Review Press, 2023), and the essay collection Before the Earth Devours Us (Split/Lip Press, 2021). He is the interviews editor for the EcoTheo Review, senior book reviews editor for Tupelo Quarterly, and associate poetry editor for AGNI. He lives with his family in south Texas.

William Archila is the winner of the 2023 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry for his collection S is For. He is the author of The Art of Exile which was awarded the International Latino Book Award, and The Gravedigger’s Archaeology which received the Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize. He was also awarded the 2023 Jack Hazard fellowship. He has been published in Poetry Magazine, The American Poetry Review, AGNl, Copper Nickle, Colorado Review, Kenyon Review,Los Angeles Review of Books, The Missouri Review, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, Southern Indiana Review and the anthologies The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNextTheatre Under My Skin: Contemporary Salvadoran Poetry, and The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States. In 2010, he was named a Debut poet by Poets & Writers. He is a PEN Center USA West Emerging Voices fellow. He lives in Los Angeles, on Tongva land. He has work forthcoming in Indiana ReviewThe Georgia ReviewPoetry Northwest and Salamander.

Sara Borjas is a self-identified Xicanx pocha and a Fresno poet. Her debut collection, Heart Like a Window, Mouth Like a Cliff (Noemi Press, 2019) received a 2020 American Book Award. Sara was featured as one of Poets & Writers 2019 Debut Poets. She has received fellowships from MacDowell, Ragdale, CantoMundo, Sewanee Writer’s Conference, Postgraduate Writers Conference, and Community of Writers. She believes that all Black lives matter and will resist white supremacy until Black liberation is realized. She teaches at California State University, East Bay and stays rooted in Fresno.

Krista Timeus Cerezo is a Guatemalan writer living in Barcelona, Spain. She's an assistant editor at Narrative Magazine and an MFA candidate with the NYU low-residency Writers Workshop in Paris. Her work has appeared in AGNI and Puerto del Sol.

Alexandra Lytton Regalado is a Salvadoran American author, editor, and translator. She is the author of Relinquenda, winner of the National Poetry Series (Beacon Press, 2022); the chapbook Piedra (La Chifurnia, 2022); and the poetry collection, Matria, winner of the St. Lawrence Book Award (Black Lawrence Press, 2017). Alexandra is the translator ofEfímero by heidi restrepo rhodes and Family or Oblivion by Elena Salamanca. She is co-founding editor of Kalina, a press that showcases bilingual, Central American-themed books and she is assistant editor at SWWIM Every Day an online daily poetry journal for women identifying poets.

Vincent Antonio Rendoni is the author of A Grito Contest in the Afterlife, winner of the 2022 Catamaran Poetry Prize for West Coast Poets as selected by Dorianne Laux. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie SchoonerThe PleiadesNinth LetterAlaska Quarterly ReviewThe Sycamore ReviewQuarterly WestThe Vestal ReviewAnother Chicago Magazine, and So It Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best Small Fictions multiple times. He lives in White Center, Washington.

Felicia Zamora is the author of seven books of poetry including, Interstitial Archaeology, forthcoming from the Wisconsin Poetry Series 2025, Quotient (2022), I Always Carry My Bones, winner of the 2020 Iowa Poetry Prize (2021) and the 2022 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry, Body of Render, Benjamin Saltman Award winner (2020), and Of Form & Gather, Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize winner (2017). She won the 2022 Loraine Williams Poetry Prize from The Georgia Review, a 2022 Tin House Next Book Residency, and a 2024 and 2022 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, AGNI, Alaska Quarterly Review, The American Poetry Review, The Best American Poetry 2022, Boston Review, Ecotone, The Georgia Review, Guernica, Gulf Coast, The Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, The Missouri ReviewOrion, Poetry Magazine, The Nation, West Branch,and others. She is an associate professor of poetry at the University of Cincinnati and a poetry editor for the Colorado Review.