Poetry Reading and Author Talk by COM Alum Javier Zamora
Author discusses poetry as a form of resistance
KENTFIELD / NOVATO, CA—November 1, 2018—College of Marin (COM) welcomes alumnus Javier Zamora on Wednesday, November 7, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. for a poetry reading and discussion in Fusselman Hall, room 120. This event is part of Eyes of Compassion: War, Immigration, and Transformation—a semester-long inquiry to foster greater understanding of the connections between violence and immigration while celebrating the transforming effect of education.
Born in La Herradura, El Salvador in 1990, Zamora traveled unaccompanied 4,000 miles, crossing multiple borders from his native country to the United States to be reunited with his parents. His father fled the violence in El Salvador when Zamora was a year old and his mother followed just as he was about to turn five. Zamora’s debut poetry collection, Unaccompanied, published by Copper Canyon Press in 2017, chronicles his harrowing migration.
While the poems in Unaccompanied tell Zamora’s personal story, they also underscore the effects of a U.S.-backed civil war that ravaged Central America in the 1980s and the aftermath, which still continues today.
During this brutal, dirty civil war, revolutionaries were pitted against a regime that sought to keep the country’s most vulnerable population illiterate and impoverished. More than 75,000 Salvadorans were killed in the fighting, the majority were victims of military death squads.
Just like Zamora and his parents, tens of thousands of Salvadorans fled the violence and sought safety in the U.S. In the mid-‘90s, former President Bill Clinton allowed the temporary protected status of those refugees to expire. Thousands among those deported were young men, many of whom ended up joining gangs in order to survive. Others remained in the U.S., leading the precarious life of an undocumented immigrant. Under the Trump Administration, temporary protected status has been rescinded for Haitians, Nicaraguans, Salvadorans, and Hondurans.
Zamora’s writing is representative of the experiences shared by many immigrants. His upcoming poetry reading and talk is another opportunity to engage in dialogue about how the expression of hatred and xenophobia are being encouraged by individuals and groups throughout our country. It also provides a safe space to explore how war and poverty impact families, immigration, and the interweaving of poetry as resistance.
Javier Zamora: Poetry As Resistance
Wednesday, November 7
1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Fusselman Hall, room 120
This event, sponsored by the Superintendent/President’s Office and the Puente Project, is free and open to the public. Additional information is available from the COM Library at (415) 485-9475 or online.