UTV 2020 PARTICIPANT PROFILES

JESSICA CAMILLE AGUIRRE

Location: California/Karlsruhe, Germany

Category: Investigative Journalism

MARGOT ADLER FELLOW in INNOVATIVE JOURNALISM

Bio: I am a magazine writer and investigative journalist from California. My reporting focuses on the ways people understand and interact with nature, and I am particularly interested in how environmental issues intersect with justice and extremism. My work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Deadspin, Wired, NPR, Smithsonian, Outside, Guernica Magazine and n+1, among others. In 2018, I received the Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award and I am currently a visiting scholar at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. Some of my field reporting has been supported by the International Reporting Project, the International Women’s Media Foundation and the International Center for Journalists; I am also a former Fulbright fellow. Since 2013, I have been based in Europe.

 

ROSALINA ARTEAGA 

Location: Mexico City

Category: Poetry in Spanish

Bio: I first began to write poetry with my friends. We would get together in the evening, choose a word at random and each write a poem based on that word. Over time those gatherings came to an end, but not my taste for writing and poetry. Just the opposite. For me, writing is an invitation: it’s a leap into the unknown and taking risks. It’s playing with words and giving voice to the world’s silences: it returns us to our beginning, the place where everything is new.
 

AGUSTÍN B. ÁVILA CASANUEVA

Location: Cuernavaca Mexico

Category:  Journalism

Bio: I was born in Mexico City, but I’ve been living in Cuernavaca for the past sixteen years. I came to Cuernavaca to study Genomic Sciences in UNAM, and I started as a free lance science writer since 2013. The bulk of my articles feature mexican scientist and have been published in magazines and blogs like eme equis, ¿Cómo ves?, aCércate, and Cienciorama.
Along with three other friends and collaborators we have done science communication and reporting in the form of a radio show and independent podcast called Ciencia Beat, which has just received the Nationa Journalism Prize in the Science and Culture category.
Trying to explore new ways of scicomm I have developed Ciencia Slam, a slam poetry league with a science thematic as a way to generate a science communication project that is rooted in citizen participation.

During my stay at Under the Volcano I hope to learn not only about journalism but also try to get at least a bit of the flow of the other volcanistas and faculty, to have a better grip on poetry and storytelling. And that those narratives and techniques can better inhabit within my writing.

RADHIYAH AYOBAMI

Location: Brooklyn, NY/Oakland, California

Category:  Literary Non-Fiction

GRACE PALEY FELLOW

Bio: I was born in Brooklyn, but my roots are in the South. My first stories were those I heard from my relatives about working in the fields in Virginia. I was too young to understand everything, but I felt the heart behind their laughter, their singing, and even the quiet spaces between the sad tales. When I grew older, I wrote the stories that friends whispered to me about the boys they slipped away to meet or the visit to the clinic where they sat alone and cried. I have always found real life stories as rich and complex as fiction, and it’s these folks I want to honor when I write.

I have a B.A in Africana Studies from Brooklyn College and an MFA from Mills College in California. These degrees opened a space for me to immerse myself deeply in literature and writing. I have been published in several journals, including Kweli, Agni and Tayo Literary Magazine, and have received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Sustainable Arts Foundation and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Writing has led me to some wonderful experiences. What I also want to do is uphold the tradition of the indigenous storyteller. 

 Like my relatives who worked closely with the Earth, I believe that place has a powerful role in our stories and is often its own character. I believe in the history of streets, buildings, trees and water. I’m also a Reiki master, an herbal tea blender, a listener of the trees and Mama to a beautiful son. My workshops in the dark spaces of prisons are different from my workshops with seniors in a room with open windows and sunshine. I also believe writing heals us and that one of the most important things we can do is listen to and tell each other’s stories.

 

GINA BALIBRERA

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Category: Fiction in English

SANDRA CISNEROS FELLOW

Bio: I earned my MFA in Prose from the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers’ Program, where I was also a Zell Postgraduate Fellow. I have been awarded grants from the Gould Center and the Rackham Institute, and received a Tyson Award and the Aura Estrada Prize for my fiction. My work appears in the Boston Review, Ploughshares, Michigan Quarterly Review, and The Wandering Song, an anthology of writing of the Central American diaspora. My novel The Volcano-Daughters centers on the story of six young girls at the time of the 1932 La Matanza massacre in Western El Salvador–each girl lives beyond death, as brujas who reimagine Salvadoran lore and revise history as ghost soul, artists, observers, and hermanas. Born and raised in San Francisco, I now live with my husband, child and dog in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where I work as an editor at Michigan Quarterly Review and as a bookseller, and teach writing. I am honored and delighted to be among the volcanoes with you as this year’s Sandra Cisneros Fellow.  

AMBAR BRISEIDA BARRERA

Location: Puebla, Mexico

Category: Investigative Journalism

ROBERT L. BREEN FELLOW

Bio:  I’m a journalist born, raised and based in Puebla, México. I began to write fiction when I was ten and after writing some radio scripts at sixteen I knew I want to work in media. I am an art lover so I have an MA in Aesthetics and Art. I’m also an amateur photographer. I’ve worked as a journalist, photographer and editor at the online platform LADO B since. The topics that interest me most are art, gender and sexual diversity.  I’m currently a fellow at PRENDE (Prensa and Democracia), the journalism residency at the Universidad Iberomericana in Mexico City,

Other key words to know me: Wiccan, feminist and cat lover.

 

 

FEY BERMAN

Location: New York/Mexico City

Category: Manuscript Seminar in English

Bio: I’m a Mexamerican writer, the daughter of WW II Polish Jewish refugees who settled in Mexico City, and a long-time resident of the US. My work chronicles the cultural and political life of the Hispanic community in los Estados Unidos, most recently in the book Mexamérica: Una Cultura Naciendo, published in 2017 by Ediciones Proceso, which highlights the contributions of Mexamericans to the arts, academia, sciences, business, politics and diplomacy in the United States.

I studied economics at ITAM (the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México), philosophy at SUNY Purchase, where I did my BA, and went on to receive an MA and PhD from New York University, where I wrote my thesis on Hasidic dance.

I’m married to Eran Broshy, an Israeli who grew up in Austria, where his father was Israel’s representative at the UN Atomic Energy Agency. We live in Manhattan, where we raised our two sons, Gideon and Gabriel

DEBORAH BONELLO

Location: Mexico City/UK/Malta

Category: Investigative Journalism

Bio: I’m a freelance journalist, producer and investigator based in Mexico City, reporting mainly on organized crime, drug trafficking and other criminal activities, although I also cover culture, immigration and other current affairs. I have reported for many of the international media in both video and text, and am a former employee of the Los Angeles Times Mexico Bureau, the Financial Times and InSight Crime, a foundation dedicated to the study of organized crime. My main clients are now Ozy.com, Vice, the Telegraph newspaper and InSight Crime.

Born in Malta and brought up in the UK, I came to Mexico in 2007 with the plan of staying for three months to carry out a multi-media digital journalism experiment, which became MexicoReporter.com. More than a decade later, and with two young children, Mexico has become my adopted home.

ELIZABETH CAMACHO

Location: La Paz, Baja California

Category: Poetry in Spanish

Bio: I was born in 1992 in La Paz, a desert city by the sea. As I grew, this dichotomy of desert and sea grew within me. It’s all that I have, and I have to write about it. I teach literature and Spanish to Mexicans and expatriates. I’m interested in the literature that arises out of cultural exchanges. I’m also interested in feminism and the study of diverse masculinities.
 

DEBORAH CASILLAS

Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Category: Poetry in English

Bio: A native Californian, I’m a long-time resident of Santa Fe, a wonderful place to have discovered that I love to write poetry. I have a BA in English from UC Berkeley and an MA in Spanish Language and Latin American Literature from UNAM. Unfortunately the language I worked so hard to learn has almost disappeared. I travel to Spanish-speaking countries, take immersion classes, start to re-learn, then stop speaking again, each time vowing not to lose the scant traces I have left.

This will be my third poetry master class at UTV. I will arrive with a newly published poetry collection, Quiet at the Edge. Several of the poems were written in and about Tepoztlán. I’m excited to be returning and look forward to another mind-enriching experience—always the unexpected waits there.

MARIELA CASTAÑEDA

Location: Puebla, Mexico

Category: Journalist

Bio: I studied Hispanic literature at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), where I currently work as the editor of an academic journal, Applied Linguistic Studies. Along with Venezuelan poet Adalber Salas I am translating the poetry collection Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting, by Trinidadian writer Shivanee Ramlochan. At the same time I’m writing an academic thesis on contemporary women’s writing and historical perspective. As you can guess by reading between the lines, I like transdisciplinary and postcolonial studies, as well as hybrid genres. I am currently writing my first book, a collection of poems and photographs.

KAREN CODNER

Location: Santiago, Chile

Category: Manuscript Seminar in Spanish

Bio: Reading has been my passion since childhood. Although I graduated with a degree in journalism from the Universidad Católica de Chile and also hold an MA in Comparative Literature, my love of words eventually led me to explore creative writing. I published my first novel, Respirar bajo el agua (Breathing Underwater) in 2016 and hope to publish my second later this year or in 2020.

As a second generation Chilean, I am also co-founder of the Memoria Viva Foundation (www.mviva.org), a non-profit organization whose mission is to recover the testimonies of the Holocaust refugees and survivors who made Chile their home.

The literary world is where I best express myself and my thoughts become lucid. I regularly write about Jewish memories and Jewish identity. In addition to teaching a creative writing workshop for youth, I publish a weekly blog about contemporary literature and in depth analysis of how to live a creative live. My recurrent topics are the relationship between memory and identity, family relations and silence as an essential human need.

My newest passion is running marathons. I find that conquering challenges, boosting my self-confidence and having butterflies in my stomach with the excitement—-as well as staying in shape—is highly addictive. My husband and I have four children. 

MATEO CORREA

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Category: Fiction in Spanish

Bio: I’m a writer, theater maker and artist based in Brooklyn, NY. I attended NYU’s BFA Drama program from 2014-2018 while also taking classes with the MFA Creative Writing in Spanish program. Since graduating I have contributed to online magazines Egg Y Pan and Waif and have written two theatrical texts, Caracol, Caracol and Latinidud. As the son of a Colombian father and an American mother I feel very grateful for how this dynamic forces me to always question my relationship to the concepts of identity and home. I also like to write about frogs.

DANIEL ESCOTO

Location: Mexico City

Category: Fiction in Spanish

Bio:  I am author of Mujer de pieles infinitas (novel, Ediciones B, 2012), and my work has been published in Proporción áurea (short story collection, Libros del Sargento, 2012) and Te guardé una bala (anthology of essays on TV series, Abismos, 2015). have a novel set on 12th century Jerusalem, written with Beca Programa FONCA Jóvenes Creadores 2013-2014. Since 2004, I have worked as scriptwriter and broadcaster for public and cultural radio.

Pasolini’s “Trilogy of Life” films, Bruegel The Elder´s paintings of peasant life in the Renaissance and J. Andrzejewsky ‘s novel The Gates of Paradise (about the disastrous so-called “Childen’s Crusade) are some of the sources of inspiration for my narrative projects.

ANTHONY ESPOSITO

Location: Mexico City/New Jersey

Category: Journalism

Bio:  Originally from New Jersey, I’m the son of a Chilean mother and Italian American father. I grew up in a bilingual home in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood, and naturally gravitated towards Latin America. Ever since my first trip to Puerto Rico some 25 years ago I have been fascinated by the region, its people, politics and history. For the past three years I’ve worked as a correspondent for Reuters in Mexico City reporting and writing on everything from the challenges faced by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s new administration; the negotiations between Mexico, Canada and the United States to replace the NAFTA trade deal; to the threats organized crime poses to residents and businesses alike; as well as the story of the thousands of Central Americans escaping entrenched poverty, corruption and violence in an attempt to make it to the U.S. southern border in search of a new life. Prior to that I lived and worked in Chile for 15 years, where I wrote for Reuters, Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal and Business News Americas and collaborated with Time Magazine, Monocle and USA Today. 

RUY FEBEN

Location: Mexico City

Category: Fiction in Spanish

Bio: Soy escritor porque tengo una obsesión con las entrañas y los engranes. Por esa misma razón, en mi infancia quise ser ingeniero y músico, pero finalmente me decanté por estudiar comunicación. Mi modo de entrar a la escritura fue el periodismo, pero pronto lo abandoné: hay entrañas que no soy capaz de ver tan de cerca.

He escrito ficciones para antologías como Relatos de malta (AB-InBev, 2018), Te guardé una bala (Editorial Abismos, 2015), Emergencias: cuentos mexicanos de jóvenes talentos (Lectorum, 2014) e Hic Svnt Dracones (Tierra Adentro, 2013), entre otras. Además, he publicado en revistas como Los BárbarosLa Peste y Guardagujas. Mi más reciente libro de cuentos, Malebolge, se publicó en 2018, y mi primer libro, Vórtices viles (Tierra Adentro, 2012) ganó el Premio Nacional de Cuento Joven Comala 2012. 

ANN FOLWELL STANFORD

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Category: Poetry in English

Bio: I have taught at DePaul University for nearly 30 years and am the Vincent DePaul Professor of Literary and Multi-Disciplinary Studies in the School for New Learning. I have an MA and PhD in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from Warren Wilson Program for Writers. Along with books on literature & medicine, women, writing & incarceration; and critical articles, I’ve published poetry in JAMA, Michigan Quarterly Review, Borderlands, Southern Poetry Review, Blue Mesa Review, among others, and was nominated in 2002 for a Pushcart Prize. I spent a glorious month living in Everglades National Park as artist-in-residence in 2016. I am currently working on a memoir of my mother, an essay of El Salvador, and, of course, poems. On the board of Chicago’s Guild Literary Complex, I live in Chicago and Sarasota, FL.

JENNIFER GONZÁLEZ

Location: Aguascalientes, México

Category: Journalism

Bio: I’m a Gay Talese fan and coffee addict and I love to tell and read stories. I worked ten years as a reporter, editor and correspondent for local and national media in Aguascalientes. Now I’m a freelance journalist outside Mexico City trying to push investigative pieces created collaboratively by local reporters.
 

MARÍA JOSÉ GOMEZ CASTILLO

Location: Mexico City

Category: Fiction in Spanish

GUERA TRIGOS FELLOW

Bio: I was born and raised in Mexico City. I have a bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Literature from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and a master’s degree in Museum Studies from New York University. Since 2011 I’ve taught at Centro, where I direct the Screenwriting MA. My stories have been published in Los mejores cuentos mexicanos 2001 (Planeta), Nuevas voces de la narrativa mexicana (Planeta, 2003), and Tierra Adentro. I have received a Fulbright scholarship (2006-2008) and a FONCA Jóvenes Creadores Fellowship (2010), the latter of which allowed me to write a short story collection entitled El vuelo del escarabajo. I am currently working on my first novel, which centers on an actual 19th century charismatic figure and her primary role in several uprisings in Northern Mexico.

ELIZABETH HUTCHINGS

Location: Brighton, UK

Category: Fiction in English

Bio: I come from Brighton on the south coast of England. I am a translator, and split my time between my hometown by the sea and New York City, where I spend a few months a year working at the United Nations. I work from French, Spanish and Italian into English, and am learning Swedish. My travels and love of languages have contributed to my desire to write, and I am very excited to participate in Under the Volcano 2020! I am currently writing my first novel.

PIA JENSEN

Location: Norway/Mexico

Category: Fiction in English

Bio: I am originally Norwegian but grew up in Mexico and decided to move back seven years ago. Currently I reside by the Pacific Ocean in Nayarit, in a quiet town where I have found tranquility and inspiration. Since childhood I have been fascinated by storytelling in all its formats, as literature, oral accounts, theatre, podcast and above all filmmaking. I started working on stage and devoured books and films through adolescence before embarking on my BA in Film and TV production (Edith Cowan University, Australia). With my degree I went to work for Norwegian television and radio, and then earned an MA in Visual Anthropology at Freie Universität in Berlin. Finally I felt ready to work on my own projects, writing and directing short and medium-length films and screening my films in international competitions and seminars. I am currently wrapping up a feature film script that I co-wrote, and that I hope to shoot next year. I am a passionate reader and an observer of human nature, which inspires me to write. At Under the Volcano I look forward to structuring my writing in order to write a novel about family ties, female lineage and personal relationships. 

KEITJE KUIPERS

Location: Seattle, Washington

Category: Fiction in English

Bio: I am the author of three books of poetry, all from BOA Editions: All Its Charms (2019), The Keys to the Jail (2014), and Beautiful in the Mouth (2010). My work has appeared in Narrative, Tin House, Virginia Quarterly Review, The New York Times Magazine, American Poetry Review and The Believer, as well as in both The Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry anthologies. I was a Stegner Fellow, a Bread Loaf fellow, and PEN Northwest’s Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Resident. I now live with my wife and our kids on an island in the Salish Sea, a short ferry ride away from Seattle where I teach at Hugo House and serve as Senior Editor at Poetry Northwest. In addition to writing new poems (mostly about the strange world of married life) and working on the English translations of work by the Dutch poet Idwer de la Parra, I’m also deep into a fiction project set mostly in Wyoming, as well as a memoir about the seven months I spent living alone and off the grid, two hours down a dirt road from the nearest human being.

JULIA LOVE

Location: Mexico City

Category: Journalism

Bio: I am a correspondent for Reuters in Mexico City, where I cover business and migration. Before heading south of the border, I wrote about tech titans such as Apple and Google from San Francisco. My career has also included stops at the San Jose Mercury News and American Lawyer Media, and my work has inspired an essay in The Atlantic and a question on the popular NPR quiz show “Wait Wait… Don’t tell Me!” I am grateful for the opportunity to gain new investigative tools at Under the Volcano and also to reconnect with creative writing, which was my first love. 

ENRIQUETA LUNEZ

Location: San Juan Chamula, Chiapas

Category: Poetry

Bio: Her road to poetry began in the state of Sinaloa. Far from the town of her birth, she began to write Tajimol Ch’ulelaletik / Juego de Nahuales (2008). As a grant recipient of the National Fund for Culture and the Arts (FONCA) she wrote Sk’eoj Jme’tik U / Cantos de Luna (2013). Her poems have been translated to Italian, German, English, French and Serbian.

ANNA MACONOCHIE

Location: London, UK

Category: Fiction in English

Bio: I was born in London and educated there. I went to the London School of Economics to study philosophy and then worked in the film industry in my 20s, mostly in and around London but with stints in New York, Los Angeles and the Telluride Film Festival. I began writing short stories as it was the opposite of filmmaking – one person and a laptop creating a finished product. I published for the first time in the Erotic Review in 2013. Two more stories followed for the same publication, one of which has made it into the 100 Sexiest Stories Anthology, edited by Mariella Frostrup. In 2017 I published my first short story collection with Cultured Llama Publishing – Only the Visible Can Vanish. Further stories were published in The Dublin Review, Wells Street Journal and Bitter Oleander. I am working on more stories, a novel and a non-fiction book project that my agent is valiantly trying to sell.
 

CLAIRE MULLEN 

Location: Mexico City; San Francisco

Category: Literary Non-Fiction

Bio: I’m a freelance writer and audio producer based in Mexico City. Previously I worked for Reveal at the Center for Investigative Reporting and Radio Ambulante, and I’ve produced audio stories for 99% Invisible, PRI, and NPR. My writing and reporting have appeared in The Believer, The Lily, Lithub, Ploughshares, and the New Life Quarterly. I’m currently a 2019-2020 fellow with the National Book Critics Circle. At Under the Volcano I’ll be working with Emily Raboteau on a set of essays about the US-Mexico border.

ROBIN MYERS

Location: Mexico City, US

Category: Poetry in English

Bio: Raised in New Jersey, I’m currently based in Mexico City, where I write poems and work as a freelance translator. Book-length work has been translated into Spanish and published in Mexico (Ediciones Antílope), Spain (Kriller71 Ediciones), and Argentina (Zindo & Gafuri and Audisea). My poems and translations have appeared in Poetry Northwest, PANK Magazine, 32 Poems, the Harvard Review, the Massachusetts Review, the Kenyon Review, The Common, Two Lines, The Offing, Waxwing, Asymptote, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and Tupelo Quarterly, among other publications. I’m an alumna of the Vermont Studio Center, the Banff Literary Translation Centre, and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers; I’ll be a resident at the Ragdale Foundation in Fall 2020. I’m currently working on a series of poems that explore questions of place, citizenship, political shame, and the relationship between Mexico and the US across several generations of my family. I love to sing and am trying to learn how to keep at least a modest percentage of my houseplants alive.

LIBERTAD PANTOJA

Location: Mexico City

Category: Fiction in Spanish

Bio: I was born in Mexico City. I love reading short stories, petting cats, and watching and taking pictures of small critters. My passion is to write. I’ve participated in fiction workshops with Francisco Rebolledo, Alberto Chimal, Gabriel Rodríguez Liceaga, José Manuel Ríos Guerra and Mario González Suárez. Currently, I mostly write fantastic short stories. I received the 2019 FONCA scholarship in the short story for young writers.

DOROTHY POTTER SNYDER 

Location: Hillsborough, North Carolina

Category: Fiction in English

Bio: I write short fiction and essays, and translate literature from Spanish, including works by Mónica Lavín (Mexico), Almudena Sánchez (Spain), and Juan Carlos Garvayo (Spain). I am a passionate promoter of contemporary Hispanic women’s texts. My translations have appeared in The Sewanee Review, Surreal Poetics, Two Lines Press, Review: Literature and Art of the Americas, and Short Story Project. I contribute essays and interviews to Public Seminar, Potent Magazine, The Durham Herald Sun, and La Gaceta de Tucumán (Argentina). My short story “The Spider and the Butterfly” was published in the April 2019 issue of The Write Launch.

ANN RAUHALA

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Category: Literary Non-Fiction

Bio:  I was born and raised in Sudbury, a mining town in northern Ontario, the setting for my Volcano project, and home to the world’s largest nickel and the world’s second-tallest smokestack.  I’ve spent many hours of my professional life editing other peoples’ writing although I was a also reporter and columnist at the Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper. The paper promoted my column as “free-ranging but never chicken.” I guess you had to be there.
I became the paper’s Foreign Editor in the ‘90s and later moved over to the National, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s flagship news show, where I made tv documentaries.


I have a BA from Ryerson University where I now teach journalism courses. My other BA and my MA in English lit are from the University in Toronto. I’m the mother of two, one of whom inspired my collection of creative non-fiction pieces called The Lucky Ones by and about families with children adopted from China.

FERNANDA REYES RETANA

Location: Miami, Mexico City

Category: Manuscript Seminar in Spanish

Bio: In my adult life I got married, became a mother and started to write, all with five countries, two continents and fifteen houses in the back ground. My writing starts with the process of facing separation by choice, but also by chance, and develops and evolves in search of the look, the encounter, and the discovery. I am interested in the bonds that people develop through love, history and ancestry.

I have a masters degree in Humanities and Literature, published two novels in Mexico and in Santiago de Chile. I have contributed to many art magazines, including Arte al límite in Santiago, Chile, and to several catalogs of contemporary art. I lead creative workshops.
I’ve lived in Miami since 2017.

OCTAVIO RIVERA

Location: Michoacán, Mexico; South Texas

Category: Investigative Journalism

Bio: I was born in a small town in the state of Michoacán, Mexico. More than half the people born in that state live in the United States today. Exile, in Michoacán, was (is) like a form of manifest destiny. I moved to Mexico City at age 16 to study journalism. After graduation I worked as a reporter and editor for some years. In 2004 I moved to South Texas, where journalism gave me the possibility to witness the blazing stories of the border. After seven years I returned to Mexico. I worked as a freelance and as editor in several media outlets, most of them digital. Meanwhile I earned a master’s degree in Sociology. I am currently the Program Officer of the Border Center for Journalists and Bloggers, a non-profit organization created in South Texas that aims to train Mexican journalists and fund investigative journalism projects against corruption at the bi-national border. I am Emiliano’s dad, the best thing that has ever happened to me, and am learning to play the accordion.

SHAKTHI SHRIMA

Location: Berkeley, California

Category: Poetry in English

Bio: I’m a student at Princeton University studying philosophy, classics, and logic. My work appears or is forthcoming in Best New Poets 2018, Muzzle Magazine, VINYL, The Berkeley Poetry Review, The Columbia Poetry Review, The Adroit Journal, DIALOGIST, and BOAAT, amongst others. A lot of my recent poetic work explores the ways in which bodies can become foreign to themselves when they desire or are desired. When I’m not writing or being incredibly type-A, I sing and drink tea, which are quite honestly also very type-A things to do.

GERI SMITH

Location: Washington, DC

Category: Manuscript Seminar with Elizabeth Rosner

Bio: I spent three decades as a foreign correspondent based in Latin America, arriving fresh out of college and returning to the United States only after my children, who were born in Brazil and raised in Mexico, graduated from college themselves. I spent eight years with United Press International in Chile, Argentina and Brazil in the late 1970s and early 1980s when those countries were ruled by the military, and I chronicled their hard-fought return to democracy. After UPI went bankrupt, I freelanced from Brazil until 1992, when I was hired by Business Week magazine to be its chief correspondent for Latin America, based in Mexico City. My 18-year tenure there started with the creation of NAFTA, moved on to the Zapatista rebellion and Mexico’s economic collapse and culminated in the bloody drug war. After leaving Business Week in 2010, I moved back to the US to work at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC , handling media relations, teaching blog-writing and speechwriting courses, and organizing seminars for Latin American journalists on crime and urban development. Now I am returning to my first love, writing— specifically writing about my long love affair with Latin America and its people, including the many latinoamericanos who now live in the United States, in and out of the shadows.

OLIVIA TEROBA 

Location: Mexico City

Category: Manuscript Seminar in Spanish

LA PAGINA DORADA FELLOWSHIP

Bio: Desde hace varios años me dedico a escribir narrativa. Comencé escribiendo relatos, quizá por mi afición a las Mil y una noches, cuando era niña, y por los cuentistas latinoamericanos cuando fui mayor. Gracias a diversas becas y premios literarios, terminé un libro de cuentos: Cuando nací ya nadie hablaba de la guerra, que será publicado en 2020 por Enjambre Literario, un proyecto colectivo de mujeres escritoras. Después de leer ficción por un tiempo, y por recomendaciones, llegué a Una habitación propia, de Virgina Woolf. Gracias a esa lectura me acerqué a otros libros de no ficción de diversas escritoras. Las crónicas de Clarice Lispector en el Jornal do Brasil hicieron que me decidiera a crear mis propios ensayos; así escribí Un lugar seguro (Paraíso Perdido, 2019), libro donde hablo sobre ser mujer y escritora. Me parece importante conocer a otras mujeres que se dedicaron a la misma profesión, comprender su trayectoria para comprender nuestra realidad. Por eso comencé a escribir una novela sobre una escritora mexicana del siglo XX y su experiencia al vivir en el exilio durante veinte años: El tiempo afuera. Ese es el proyecto que tendré la fortuna de trabajar en Under the Volcano. 

 

SYDNEY VALERIO 

Location: New York City

Category: Poetry in English

Bio: I’m a poet whose voice takes creative non-fiction, prose, screenplay, sci-fi or visual shape. I enjoy blending genres and allowing my writing to navigate the lines that define those borders. Born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx, I teach high school English in a suburb of the city and am simultaneously working on my MFA degree at City College, which is located in the neighborhood my Dominican family first called home in the United States in the 1960s. I have a B.A. in Literature & Communications from Pace University and an M.A. in Technology & Education from Columbia University. I began to write poetry after several educational research institutes at Yale, which led me to understand the need to capture socio-cultural and environmental realities through poetry and stories instead of writing solely with an academic voice. As a result, I wrote and produced a one-woman show called Matters that debuted at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe on the Lower East Side. My poetry has been featured in several print works, including Mujeres: the Magic, the Movement, & the Muse, Harvard’s Palabritas, The Acentos Review and the 2020 BreakBeat Poets vol. 4: LatiNEXT anthology. In 2019, I received a BRIO Award in Poetry from the Bronx Council on the Arts. I visit my elders in the Dominican Republic as much as I can and believe that my two teenage daughters are the source of all the joy and light you will find in my poetry.

KEILA VALL DE LA VILLE

Location: Venezuela / New York City

Category: Manuscript Seminar in Spanish

Bio: I’m a Venezuelan author based in NYC. My novel Los días animales (2016) received the International Latino Book Awards for Best Novel 2018. I have also published the short stories books Ana no duerme (2008), finalist as Best Fiction Book in Concurso de Cuentos Monte Ávila Editores 2007; Ana no duerme y otros cuentos (2016); and the poetry book Viaje legado (2016). As editor, I’ve compiled the American bilingual anthology Entre el aliento y el precipicio. Poéticas sobre la belleza / Between the Breath and the Abyss. Poetics on Beauty, that will see the light in 2019 in Spain. I have also edited 102 Poetas en Jamming (2014) and I’m co-founder of the collective readings “Jamming Poético” (Caracas, Miami, Bogotá, NYC). I work as columnist and collaborator in Venezuelan and US publications. BA in Anthropology (Universidad Central de Venezuela), MA in Political Science (Universidad Simón Bolívar), MFA in Creative Writing (NYU), and MA in Hispanic Cultural Studies (Columbia University).

ROXANA VON KRAUS

Location: Boston/Bucharest, Romania

Category: Fiction in English

Bio: I was born in Bucharest, a city that I’ve never left. Bucharest defines me, makes me who I am.

Half of my life I wanted to escape Romania, the other half I searched for it. In 1976, when I escaped the Communist regime, I found freedom in somebody else’s land and meaning in a borrowed language. My book Meridians of the Heart is a fictional interpretation of life in my small Balkan country, unknown to most; a country betrayed by its geography and destroyed by a half a century of lies. When I emigrated I lived in Frankfurt, Paris, Asbury Park and now Boston, where I teach creative writing to veterans. My work is done on a volunteer basis and the course is free to all US veterans. I have an MBA from Boston University and an MLA from the Harvard Extension School. Fragments of my book were published in the Harvard Review.  

 

LAURA WAGNER

Location: Durham, NC

Category:  Literary Non-Fiction

Bio: I am a writer of fiction and literary nonfiction, as well as a cultural anthropologist. My work primarily concerns the 2010 Haiti earthquake and its aftermath, including humanitarian aid, the displacement crisis, and the persistence of everyday life after unprecedented disaster. My writing has appeared in Salon, Slate, and other venues, and my first YA novel, Hold Tight, Don’t Let Go, was published by Abrams/Amulet in 2015. From 2014 to 2019, I also created a trilingual digital archive of Haiti’s first independent radio station, Radio Haïti-Inter.

ADAM WILLIS

Location: Washington, DC

Category:  Journalism

Bio: I am a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. My work has covered regional politics, human rights, the Catholic Church, higher ed, literature, and sports, and I’m especially interested in writing about the intersections of religion and populism. I have written for the The Guardian, The Atlantic, Politico Magazine, The Virginia Quarterly Review, the Boston Globe, and Slate, among other publications. In 2018 and 2019 I reported on the response of the Catholic Church to Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly war on drugs in the Philippines with the support of a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

EMILY WITHNALL

Location: Missoula, Montana

Category: Literary Non-Fiction

WORDS OF WITNESS FELLOW in LITERARY NON-FICTION

Bio: Originally from New Mexico, I now teach and write in Missoula, Montana. I am a solo parent to two teens and we enjoy camping, hiking and reading together. My work has appeared in Tin House, Gay Magazine, The Kenyon Review, the essay anthology Greetings from Janeland (Cleis Press, 2017), The Rumpus, Orion, Indiana Review and Ms. Magazine, among others. I am the recipient of the creative nonfiction AWP Writers’ Conferences & Centers Award and was awarded a fellowship for the Summer Fishtrap Writers Workshop. I currently serve as a writing fellow with the Center for Community Change and write about economic and social justice issues. During my residency at Under the Volcano I will be working on a manuscript that examines the parallels between domestic violence and hydraulic fracturing.  

 

UTV 2020 INTERNS

ZAIRA ARUMIR

Location: Tepoztlan, Mexico

Category: Screenwriting

Bio: My statement develops through photography, video art, and painting. Proposing to distort reality through forms or in the construction of environments that explore ethereal territories, as well as the work to such a shrewd contemplation that it ends up inciting the grotesque. So that the most recurrent way in my work is to carry out the senses to a correct expression and achieve a sensory connection between spectator and work.

FRIDA ESQUIVEL MEJÍA

Location: Mexico City

Category: Screenwriting

Bio: Currently I’m at the last year of the degree in film and television. I am interested in film production, interdisciplinary art, worldviews of different peoples and feminism. My audiovisual work lies between the self-referential and the documentation. I will be as intern in the screenwriting workshop, and also in charge of Social Media.

JOANA MEDELLIN HERRERO

Location: Mexico City

Category: Poetry

Bio: Poet, land rights activist and feminist. Founder and active member of feminist collective, Hilanderas and also the poetas collective Hipálage. She has two published volumes of poetry in print, Mi Rubik, edited by Ed. Verso Destierro and the self-edited, Recetas para vivir en el Incendio. She studied linguistics at the National School of Anthropology & History, ENAH as well as film critique at CCC, the Center of Cinematography Studies. She is the founder of the Literary Creation program at the Mexican School of Writers, where she also studied. She is published on various online media, including Círculo de Poesía, Periódico de Poesía de la UNAM, Poetas del Siglo XXI, Lado B; among other presses, such as the anthology Introducción al lenguaje de los Astronautas, published by (H)onda nómada Ediciones and Poetas Parricidas (generación entre siglos) edited by Cuadrivio. This year is gonna be in the program as a social media intern.

YHAIR MENDOZA

Location: Cuernavaca, Mexico

Category: Journalism

Bio: I am from Taxco de Alarcón, Guerrero, Mexico, but I am currently studying Management and Intercultural Communication at the Autonomous University of the State of Morelos (UAEM), in Cuernavaca. I am interested in the topics of biology, environmental protection combining “traditional knowledge” in indigenous communities of Mexico (Traditional Technology). Also about violence in young people. In my free time I like to take pictures of animals and plants.

LILIANA LÓPEZ BOCANEGRA

Location: Tepoztan, Mexico

Category: Poetry

Bio: Born in Tepoztlan, Morelos but raised in the chaos of Mexico City. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Ethnology from the ENAH (National School of History and Anthropology) and is an active defender of earth and women’s rights.
She’s a founding member of the collective Nenemi Paqui Cihuameh -a feminist comunity based project for the defense of territories.

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