Category Archives: Essays

Not Forgotten: On the Sonoran Poet Abigael Bohórquez (1936-1995)

By Anthony Seidman

Last year, the Mexican poet Mijail Lamas organized a reading for my third collection of poetry, A Sleepless Man Sits Up in Bed (Eyewear).  The event took place in the Bhutanese-style library at the University of Texas in El Paso, where I had completed a bilingual MFA in 1997. After the reading, I found myself in Mijail’s small apartment, surrounded by piles of books.  I had been pestering him about obscure poets from the northern desert or borderlands of Mexico. Mijail pulled a thick tome from the top of a book tower. With the air of someone who prefers to stay silent until the moment is right, he opened Poesía reunida e inédita, a collection by Abigael Bohórquez (1936-1995), who, despite the many years he had spent in the nation’s capital, was decidedly a poet from the north. He was Sonoran in tone, his voice resonated with the languid strains of marginalization. He was also openly gay. Mijail intoned the music of Bohórquez with a dark bottle of Victoria beer in his left hand, and his right waving back and forth like a conductor’s sans baton. Continue reading

A Muslim-American’s Pilgrimage to Manzanar

By Marya Bangee

The morning of the 100th day of Trump’s presidency, I found myself on a bus heading to a concentration camp. To be more specific, I was headed toward Manzanar, the camp where more than 10,000 Japanese-Americans were held during World War II. I was one of a thousand people who were visiting the camp on the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, the 1942 order that called for the interment of anyone of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast. Continue reading

Why America Needs A Series of Unfortunate Events Now More than Ever

By AnnaLiese Burich

In today’s political climate, it seems inevitable that the unfortunate can — and will — happen: every day, some fresh horror makes headlines. Trump, in his short time in office, has threatened public school systems, the Affordable Care Act, our already tenuous relationships with other countries. And, worst of all, there is nothing that us innocent civilians can do about it — no matter how unfair it seems. Continue reading

Gunshots, a Writing Coach, and Bureaucrats

By Donna Myrow

My determination to reach the most at-risk youth led me to Jefferson High School in the mid 1990’s, in one of Los Angeles’ toughest neighborhoods. Jefferson had served a predominantly black community around Central Avenue and 41st Street since the 1920s. Just inside the front entrance visitors could marvel at the photos of famous alums, including Dr. Ralph Bunche and actress Dorothy Dandridge. Continue reading