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Volcanistas 2024

América Armenta

Culiacán, Sinaloa


I was born and raised in Culiacán, México. I’m especially interested in covering human rights, gender and justice; I have also had the opportunity to write about security, the environment and corruption. Along my way, i’ve collaborated with Sinaloa media, as well as national and international media. I’m currently a freelance journalist and fixer in my hometown. I’ve been a fellow of the International Women’s Media Foundation, the PRENDE program of the Universidad Iberoamericana and other spaces as Cátedra Miguel Ángel Granados Chapa of the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana. I work every day to be a better person and become a better journalist.

Benjamin Parzybok

Portland, Oregon


I’m the author of the novels Couch (two-time Indie-Next pick) and Sherwood Nation (chosen for the Silicon Valley Reads program), as well as numerous short stories which can be found in venues such as Apex MagazineStrange HorizonsLightspeed MagazineWest Branch, and The Bellevue Literary Review.  Among other projects, I founded Gumball Poetry, a literary journal published in gumball capsule machines, co-ran Project Hamad, an effort to free a Guantanamo inmate (Adel Hamad is now free), and co-run Black Magic Insurance Agency, a one-night city-wide alternative reality game. I can be found at and @sparkwatson (in the ruins of Twitter) and @[email protected] (in the newly founded metropolis where hope springs eternal). His website is a game in which you, if you wish, may fight the author in battle. No hard feelings though. Here is a peace offering.

Cristalina Parra

Poetry in Spanish

New York City, USA

Cristalina Parra is a Chilean writer and researcher based in New York City. Her first poetry book, Tamabelos (2021) centers on grief by exploring intergenerational experience, temporality, distance, and heritage. In 2023, Parra began working on Rasters in Abu Dhabi, a collection of satellite images and poems of Mina Zayed, Abu Dhabi’s now re-developing port. These poems, like raster data files, provide an effective method of storing the continuity of Mina Zayed. In this case, the grief Parra focuses on is more subtle, and it takes the shape of abandoned cityscapes, empty warehouses, and roads with no return. Being both a poet and Art Historian, she is now interested in looking for places where her two disciplines meet. On sunny days when she is neither writing nor studying, she likes to sit under the sun and do nothing but listen to music on her headphones, and if the weather is dark and rainy, she enjoys cooking for her friends.

Erika Said

Houston, Texas & Ciudad Madero, Tamaulipas


He vivido en más de diez ciudades mexicanas y estadounidenses, incluyendo Ciudad Juárez, El Paso, Nuevo Laredo y McAllen, por lo que me considero una mujer fronteriza.  Ahora radico en Houston, Texas, donde curso un doctorado en Escritura Creativa. Además de escribir, soy profesora de español, materno a mi hija de cuatro años y a dos perrhijos chihuahua. Me gusta la astrología, estar en la naturaleza y escuchar música post-punk.

I’ve lived in ten Mexican and US cities including Ciudad Juárez, El Paso, Nuevo Laredo and McAllen, so I consider myself a writer of the border. I currently live in Houston, Texas, where I am a doctoral candidate in Creative Writing. I also teach Spanish and mother my four-year old daughter and two Chihuahua babies. I like astrology, being in nature and listening to post-punk music.

Hamlet Ayala

Tijuana, Mexico


Aunque nací en Guadalajara. el enamoramiento de mis padres me llevó desde Sonora y Nayarit hasta la ciudad de Tijuana, una ya muy distinta a la que podamos voltear a ver cuando leamos esto. Aprendí la música de la canción lo mismo que el reclamo que te llama a comer cuando la cena está servida o hay una buena historia que no debes perderte al fin de la jornada. Parece que aún hay tribu si uno presta atención. Y más allá, aquí, la vida que nos toca, como un reflejo de quien fuimos siempre.

He publicado poemas y colaboraciones como periodista cultural en medios nacionales y extranjeros, como la Revista de la Universidad de México, Buenos Aires Poetry, Río Grande Review de la Universidad de Texas en El Paso, Círculo de poesía, revista La Otra, Periódico de poesía de la UNAM, Revista Tierra Adentro, Este País, Otros Diálogos de El Colegio de México, el suplemento cultural La Jornada Semanal y en Poéticas – Revista de Estudios Literarios, editada en España. Algunos poemas míos fueron incluidos en el volumen “Hay algo, algo urgente que te tengo que decir, homenaje a William Carlos Williams”, publicado por Medusa Editores en 2022.

Ivy Raff

I am the author of two poetry collections: the bilingual English/Spanish What Remains / Qué queda (Editorial DALYA, forthcoming 2023), winner of the Dolors Alberola International Poetry Prize; and Rooted and Reduced to Dust (Finishing Line Press, forthcoming 2024).  Individual poems appear in The American Journal of Poetry, Electric Literature’s The Commuter, Nimrod International Journal, and West Trade Review, among others, as well as in the anthologies Spectrum: Poetry Celebrating Identity, Kinship: Poems on Belonging (Renard Press, 2022 & 2023), London Independent Story Prize Anthology (LISP, 2023), and the Aesthetica Creative Writing Prize Annual (Aesthetica, 2023).  At UTV’s master class with Jennifer Clement, I’ll complete the generative work and a first round of edits on my third collection.

Following a twenty-year career at the intersection of health technology and public policy, I shifted my focus to writing and freelance editing, translation, and website design in 2021.  My poems explore evolving relationships to family and community, to individual and cultural bodies that live and die out.  Much of the “source material” for the poems root in my own experiences balancing feminisms and activism for Palestinian liberation with my Eastern European Jewish heritage and identity.  Though I’m mainly nomadic, Queens, New York will always be home.  Loves: baking artisan challah from scratch, hikes of any length, my delicious baby nephew.

Joan Brooks Baker

A photographer much of my life, I turned to writing about 12 years ago when creating my presentation of The Black Madonna. While photography was greatly rewarding, especially as a semi-journalist in India and Kosovo, I have found a more enriching depth in the ability to write down my feelings.

Born and brought up in New York City I, as the third and last child, disliked the unwritten rules that were presented to me by my dyed-in-the-wool Southern parents. My memoir, The Magnolia Code, published in 2020, is a story of my escape from the rules and the choices I have lived. I am proud to say that The Magnolia Code received many awards, including The Independent Press Award in the genre of Memoir.

The past year I was asked to give a “talk” on the women I have photographed throughout the world and the impact this has had on me. My presentation, together with about 95 images, is entitled Through the Lens of my Camera: The Essence of Woman, and I will be “taking it on the road” in 2024, including New York City.

I am so pleased to be part of Liz Rosner’s “Writing as Witness” master class where I will be continuing and hoping to finish a collection of Short Stories called The Swampyland, stories of the obstacles we face and the possibilities of overcoming them.

Juan R. Palomo

Juan R. Palomo was born in North Dakota into a migrant farmworker family. He grew up in South Texas and various Midwestern states, working in the fields with his family. He spent most of his adult life as a journalist, writing news and opinion for The Houston Post, Austin American-Statesman and USA TODAY. His poems have appeared in Acentos Review; New Mexico Review; The Account Magazine; Bayou Review; Sonora Review; Amaranth Journal, Infrarrealista Review, Hinchas de Poesía; ReVista: the Harvard Review of Latin America; Crosswinds Journal; Voices de la Luna; Fifth Wednesday Journal’s anthology of Mexican American writers; and Cutthroat Journal’s anthology, Puro Chicanx Writers of the 21st Century. He has been a featured poet at the Rothko Chapel and on “The Beat,” the Knox County (Tennessee) Library’s poetry podcast. His 2021 chapbook, Al Norte, was published by Alabrava Press. He lives in Houston.

Juan R. Palomo nació en Dakota del Norte en una familia de trabajadores agrícolas migrantes. Creció en el sur de Texas y en varios estados del medio oeste de Estados Unidos, en donde trabajaba en el campo con su familia. Pasó la mayor parte de su vida adulta como periodista, escribiendo noticias y piezas de opinión para The Houston Post, Austin American-Statesman y USA TODAY. Sus poemas han aparecido en Acentos Review; New Mexico Review; The Account Magazine; Bayou Review; Sonora Review; Amaranth Journal, Infrarrealista Review, Hinchas de Poesía; ReVista: the Harvard Review of Latin America; Crosswinds Journal; Voices de la Luna; Anthology of Mexican American Writers (Fifth Wednesday Journal); y Puro Chicanx Writers of the 21st Century (Cutthroat Journal). Ha leído sus poemas en la Capilla Rothko en Houston y en “The Beat,” el podcast de poesía de la biblioteca del condado de Knox (Tennessee). Su libro, Al Norte, fue publicado en 2021 por Alabrava Press. Actualmente vive en Houston.

Laura Rodríguez Presa

Chicago, USA


I’m a senior bilingual journalist for Chicago Tribune. Journalism is more than a job for me, it is a vocation. A passion that drives me to believe that the world can be better if we find ways to connect with one another. That’s is why I added my second last name to my byline. Presa is my grandpa’s last name and he was the first one to emigrate to the United States from Mexico; it is a symbol of perseverance and love. 

I thank God for my family and the friends that surround me. They’re always there to celebrate me in my career accomplishments, but even more present through life experiences. They were, always unconditionally by my side when my dad passed away but also when I traveled to Tequila, Jalisco to celebrate my 30th birthday. I hold Mexico close to my heart because it is the home to my grandparents. 

Though far away from home, I keep it close to my heart. Through my writing, in the music I listen to and the books I read. I enjoy running and art exhibitions. And most recently, Donnie, my dog has reaffirmed me that love is beyond words. 

Malvika Jolly 

Brooklyn, New York


I am a poet, translator and educator based in New York City. My writing explores postcolonial legacy, hybridity, magical realism, counter-imperialisms, transnational solidarity movements, folklore, mythology and dreams. My work has been featured in Four Way Review, MIZNA, The Rumpus, Salt Hill Journal, The Best Small Fictions Anthology 2023 and others, and in programs for the Brooklyn Rail, Method Bandra, The Poetry Society of New York and The New York Foundation for the Arts.  I serve as the programs coordinator for the arts organization Tamaas | تماس, and as a senior editor for Poetry Northwest, where I direct poetry workshops and educational programming to transform racial equity in literary publishing. I also curate The New Third World, a traveling poetry reading series inspired by the Non-Aligned Movement and the history of friendship and solidarity across distance among emergent postcolonial nations.

María Ramos

Dallas, Texas & Chihuahua, Mexico


I am a local government accountability reporter at The Dallas Morning News, focusing on initiatives that directly impact the Latino community in Dallas. Before this, I worked as a reporter at Al Día, where I wrote in Spanish about local issues and immigration policies for the Hispanic community in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso, and during my time there, I had the opportunity to intern for El Paso Matters. I participated in the 2021 NextGen Project, the ProPublica Emerging Reporters 2020 cohort, and the NAHJ Student Project in 2020. I was born and raised in Chihuahua, where my passion for journalism took root. In my free time, I train for half marathons, with the ultimate goal of running a full marathon soon.

Marxitania Ortega Flores

Mexico City


Soy escritora. Escribo una gran cantidad de minutas, informes, reportes y notas, además de aquellos textos que expresan mi propia voz, aunque hoy en día, siento que todo texto, así sea una simple minuta, expresa algo de mí y se convierte en objeto de mi obsesión. Pero el gozo de la escritura, en mi experiencia, se despliega en la ficción. Soy autora de la novela Guerra de Guerrillas, de dos libros de cuentos, Luz brillante y Cuentos para leer en autobús; y del libro de poesía Carta Natal (Ícaro, 2022). 

Actualmente vivo en la Ciudad de México, pero viajo varias veces al año a otras comunidades rurales y urbanas para trabajar en proyectos de fortalecimiento comunitario, lo cual me nutre profundamente. Desde hace dos años me animé a explorar el mundo de las artes marciales mixtas y aunque sigo resistiéndome a las caídas del judo, próximamente haré las pruebas para mi cuarto cambio de cinta. ¡Atinar y asestar un buen golpe es altamente satisfactorio!

Pat Alderete

Los Angeles, California


I was born and raised in East Los Angeles and currently live in the Highland Park area.  I was a teenager during the movimiento Chicano, which is reflected in my novel-in-progress and published short stories.  Many of the people I write about are long gone and forgotten, dead or killed in barrio violence.  I want readers to know them as they were:  sons and daughters filled with longing, love and pain.  Not heroes, yet heroic in their struggle against systems much larger than themselves.  I’ve been riding motorcycles for over fifty years and currently have a Road Star 1600 with a sidecar that I call my queen’s chariot.  My life is blessed with my wife, Mary, and our daughter Alicia.

Roberto Morán Quiroz

Guadalajara, Jalisco

It was the 70s and I used to walk into my dad’s library, with a Bimbo bread in one hand and a coffee with condensed milk in the other. Yes, it is clear that my diet was a living example of the industrial customs that were beginning to invade the suburbs of Guadalajara. And my spiritual nourishment had to do with a doctor father who was excited about literature.

I opened the books and came across a poem by González Martínez, that called to strangle some swam with deceptive plumage, and then with Fuentes, Paz, Ibargüengoitia and fortunately my dad returned with the new releases from Vargas Llosa, García Márquez and even José Agustín from his visits to the downtown bookstores. As a child I wanted to live in that library and now I want to tell those moments from the last century, because we should have learned something.

About my career: I practiced economics and business journalism and clung to periodical publications in various media until I felt like I no longer belonged. I want to rediscover literature but now I want to communicate better.

Eran los años 70 y yo entraba a la biblioteca de mi papá, con un pan Bimbo en una mano y un café con leche condensada en la otra. Sí, se nota que mi alimentación fue un vivo ejemplo de las costumbres industriales que empezaban a invadir los suburbios de Guadalajara. Y mi alimentación espiritual tuvo que ver con un papá médico emocionado con la literatura.

Abría los libros y me topaba con un llamado a tocerle el cuello al cisne de engañoso plumaje, un poema de González Martínez, y después con Fuentes, Paz, Ibargüengoitia y afortunadamente mi papá volvía con las novedades de Vargas Llosa, García Márquez y hasta José Agustín de sus visitas a las librerías del centro.  De niño quería vivir en esa biblioteca y ahora quiero contar esos momentos del siglo pasado, porque algo debímos aprender.

De mi carrera: practiqué el periodismo de economía y negocios y me aferré a las publicaciones periódicas en diversos medios hasta que sentí que ya no pertenecía. Quiero redescubrir la literatura pero ahora para comunicarme mejor.

Sarah Kumari

London, UK

Imagination Unbound Fellowship.

I was born and grew up in London but now live in Surrey, England, where there’s more greenery and slightly less public transport. I write science fiction and fantasy in lengths that vary from flash to novel. I’m an associate editor at, where you can also find one of my published stories. I am a former research scientist who now has a day job analysing equality statistics and supporting scientists in their professional development. My genetics and molecular biology background comes through quite often in my writing. I am the mother of two small science-fiction fans and spend a fair amount of time engaged in lightsaber battles or debating time travel theory to the theme tune of Interstellar.

Nací y me crié en Londres, pero ahora vivo en Surrey, Inglaterra, donde hay más follaje y menos transporte público.  Escribo ciencia ficción y fantasia desde flash fiction a novelas. Soy editora en, donde aparece uno de mis cuentos publicados. Antes investigadora científica, me dedico actualmente a analisar estadísticas sobre igualdad y a apoyar a los demás científicos en su desarrollo profesional. Mi formación en genética y biología se filtra a menudo en mis escritos.  Soy mamá de dos pequeños fans de la ciencia ficción y paso no poco tiempo en batallas lightsaber o debatiendo aspectos de la teoría de viajar en el tiempo con la musiquita de Interstellar.