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Dallas Is Lit! Iluminado: A Conversation With Javier Zamora

April 13 @ 11:37 pm CDT

Salvadoran poet and memoirist Javier Zamora, author of Solito, will appear at the Texas Theatre on May 16, 2024, presented by The Writer’s Garret in partnership with Activating Reading Communities Organization (ARCO). Zamora will be joined by ARCO founder Claudia Vega for a conversation. The conversation will include his migration, his experiences as a poet and writer of color in the contemporary literary landscape, and the broader discussion regarding representation in literary conversations. Iluminado is the marquee event of the Dallas Is Lit! literary festival, hosted by The Writer’s Garret, taking place May 13-19, 2024. Tickets will go on sale in late March through TicketDFW.com, and Spanish translation will be made available.

Accompanied only by strangers and a hired “coyote,” Zamora left his beloved aunt and grandparents to reunite with his mother and father in the United States. The three-thousand-mile journey, only expected to last two weeks until he was abandoned in Oaxaca, stretched into two life-altering months spent among strangers turned guardians as he traveled from El Salvador to Guatemala and then Mexico before arriving in the United States. Narrated by his nine-year-old self, Zamora’s memoir, Solito, provides an intimate account of his near-impossible journey and the unexpected moments of kindness, love, and joy scattered across perilous boat trips, desert treks, arrests, and betrayals.

“Javier’s story is, at times, breath-taking,” said Aaron Glover, Executive Director of The Writer’s Garret, “and speaks to a resilience and strength to which we can all aspire. His journey, both literally to the U.S. and literarily as poet and storyteller, is a beautiful example of how the communities we are part of create and shape who we are.”

“We are thrilled to bring Javier Zamora to Oak Cliff,” said Claudia Vega, founder of Whose Books and Executive Director of ARCO, who will be speaking with Zamora during the event. “His memoir Solito is profound and speaks to the journey of many in our community. This conversation about his beautifully penned memoir can help us understand, empathize and bridge gaps that might divide us.”

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April 13, 2024
11:37 pm CDT