VIRTUAL - Reyna Grande and Sonia Guiñansaca - SOMEWHERE WE ARE HUMAN

Wednesday, June 15, 2022 - 7:00pm

This event will take place on Zoom. To register, click here.

Reyna Grande and Sonia Guiñansaca will be in conversation with Jesús I. Valles. 

"[These contributions] touch on so many different facets of the immigrant experience that readers will find much to ponder... [and] experience how creative writing enriches our understanding of each other and our lives." –Booklist

Introduction by Pulitzer Prize–winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen

A unique collection of 41 groundbreaking essays, poems, and artwork by migrants, refugees and Dreamers—including award-winning writers, artists, and activists—that illuminate what it is like living undocumented today.

In the overheated debate about immigration, we often lose sight of the humanity at the heart of this complex issue. The immigrants and refugees living precariously in the United States are mothers and fathers, children, neighbors, and friends. Individuals propelled by hope and fear, they gamble their lives on the promise of America, yet their voices are rarely heard.

This anthology of essays, poetry, and art seeks to shift the immigration debate—now shaped by rancorous stereotypes and xenophobia—towards one rooted in humanity and justice. Through their storytelling and art, the contributors to this thought-provoking book remind us that they are human still. Transcending their current immigration status, they offer nuanced portraits of their existence before and after migration, the factors behind their choices, the pain of leaving their homeland and beginning anew in a strange country, and their collective hunger for a future not defined by borders.

Created entirely by undocumented or formerly undocumented migrants, Somewhere We Are Human is a journey of memory and yearning from people newly arrived to America, those who have been here for decades, and those who have ultimately chosen to leave or were deported. Touching on themes of race, class, gender, nationality, sexuality, politics, and parenthood, Somewhere We Are Human reveals how joy, hope, mourning, and perseverance can take root in the toughest soil and bloom in the harshest conditions.

Reyna Grande is the author of the bestselling memoir, The Distance Between Us, (Atria, 2012) where she writes about her life before and after she arrived in the United States from Mexico as an undocumented child immigrant. The much-anticipated sequel, A Dream Called Home (Atria), was released in 2018. Her other works include the novels, Across a Hundred Mountains, (Atria, 2006) and Dancing with Butterflies (Washington Square Press, 2009) which were published to critical acclaim. Reyna has received an American Book Award, the El Premio Aztlán Literary Award, and the International Latino Book Award.The young reader’s version of The Distance Between Us received a 2017 Honor Book Award for the Américas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature and a 2016 Eureka! Honor Awards from the California Reading Association, and an International Literacy Association Children’s Book Award 2017. Reyna’s work has appeared in The New York Times, CNN, The Lily at The Washington Post, and more. She has appeared on Oprah's Book Club and is a member of the Macondo Writer’s Workshop founded by Sandra Cisneros, where she has also served as faculty. Currently, she is at work on several projects due to published in 2021-22.

Sonia Guiñansaca is an internationally acclaimed poet, cultural organizer, and social justice activist. Born in Ecuador (proud Kichwa-Kañari), at the age of 5 they migrated to the United States to reunite with their parents in NY. Guiñansaca co-founded some of the largest undocumented organizations in the U.S and they have been awarded residencies and fellowships from Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation, Poetry Foundation, British Council, and the Hemispheric Institute for Performance & Politics. Guiñansaca has performed at the Met, the NYC Public Theater, and more, and has been featured on PEN American, Interview Magazine, Latina Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Teen Vogue, CNN, NBC, and PBS to name a few. They have been named 1 of 10 Up and Coming Latinx Poets You Need to Know by Remezcla, as well as one of 13 Coolest Queers on the Internet by Teen Vogue. Sonia Guiñansaca self-published their debut chapbook Nostalgia and Borders in 2016. They are a contributor for the new edition of ColonizeThis! Anthology (2019 Seal Press), and This is Not a Gun (2020 Sming Sming Books/Candor Arts). They are also featured on Stop Telling Women to Smile (2020 Seal Press). 

Jesús I. Valles is a queer Mexican immigrant, educator, storyteller, and per- former based in Austin, Texas, originally from Cd. Juarez, México. Jesús holds a master’s degree in communication studies from California State University, Long Beach, with a focus on performance and qualitative research methods. Jesús is a recipient of the 2018 Undocupoets Fellowship, a 2018 Poetry Incubator fellow of the Poetry Foundation and Crescendo Literary, runner-up in the 2017 Button Poetry chapbook contest, and a finalist of the 2016 Write Bloody Publishing poetry contest. Their work has been published in the Shade Journal, The Texas Review, and The New Republic.

César Miguel Rivera Vega Magallón is a queer, formerly undocumented, Mexican poet and an advocate for migrant, refugee, and returned/deportee rights. Originally from Huentitán el Alto, Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, they resided in northern Los Angeles County for twenty-five years before self-deporting to Guadalajara in 2018. César Miguel facilitated the Ante- lope Valley Writers Association before becoming a full-time organizer in the immigrant rights movement and pursuing a major in art history at the University of California, Los Angeles. Their short story “We, Saracens,” won the first ever Things I’ll Never Say prize for fiction in 2013. Their essays have been published in the Huffington Post, Motherlands Zine, Color Bloq, and on other platforms. César Miguel was the 2021 México Advocacy Fellow at the Rhizome Center for Migrants in the city of Guadalajara.

Grace Talusan’s first book, The Body Papers, is a Massachusetts Book Awards winner in nonfiction, a New  York  Times Editors’ Choice selection, and the winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing. She has published essays in the COVID-19 anthologies And We Came Outside and Saw the Stars Again edited by Ilan Stavans and Alone Togetheredited by Jennifer Haupt. Her short story “The Book of Life and Death” was chosen for the 2020 Boston Book Festival’sOne City One Story program and was translated into several languages, including Tagalog. She is the recipient of a US Fulbright Fellowship to the Philippines and an Artist Fellowship Award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She was born in the Philippines, arriving in the US with her parents at age two and becoming a US citizen in her twenties. She is theFannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University.


Somewhere We Are Human: Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival, and New Beginnings By Reyna Grande, Sonia Guiñansaca, Viet Thanh Nguyen (Foreword by) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063095779
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperVia - June 7th, 2022