F289. Central American Poetics: Guatemalan and Salvadoran Poets in the City

Room 505, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Friday, April 1, 2016
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


Acclaimed and emergent Californian Central American poets discuss the need and limits of writing on social justice, (historical) memory, trauma, language, and alternative futures/fantasies. While Central American poetics used urgency to end their civil wars (1970–1996), how do diaspora poetics matter today? Through poetry, this reading engages the question while speaking about the aesthetics of refuge, loss, healing, and notions of home.



Maya Chinchilla has an MFA in English and creative writing from Mills College. She is a poet, writer, and educator, who has taught English, creative writing, Latina/o, ethnic, and global studies at San Francisco State University, UC Davis, the California Institute of Integral Studies, and the Peralta Colleges.

Karina Oliva A. holds a BA (English) and a PhD (ethnic studies) from the University of California, Berkeley on Central American/Latina literature and communities. Her work explores indigeneity, immigration, rememory, intergenerational and gendered historical trauma, and healing through poetry and spirituality.

William Archila is the author of The Art of Exile, which won an International Latino Book Award. His second book The Gravedigger’s Archaeology recently won the 2015 Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize. His poems have been published in APR, AGNI, the Georgia Review, and Notre Dame Review, among others.

Javier Zamora holds fellowships from CantoMundo, Colgate University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Narrative, Ploughshares, and Poetry.

Gabriela Ramirez-Chavez holds a BA in English and creative writing from CSU Long Beach. Her work has been published in the Acentos Review, Kweli, and Plath Profiles. She is currently pursuing a PhD in literature with a creative/critical emphasis at UC Santa Cruz.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center