Art by Jia Sung, for Guernica Magazine
The other day, I was listening to Anna Flores, a child of undocumented immigrants who calls herself lucky to be from the “right” side of the border, the side that bestows automatic citizenship upon those who are born there — here — in these United States. Anna is a poet and we were both speakers at the Desert Nights, Rising Stars conference at the Virginia C. Piper Center for Creative Writing in Tempe, Arizona. Anna told me that she has three brothers who were born on the other side of the border, the “wrong” side, and that they walked across the desert to get to Arizona, but then they were deported, returned to where they’d come from even though it is here that they believe they belong.
WHY – AND HOW – I WRITE
The key to writing a good story is knowing what you don’t know and finding the right people and documents to help you learn it. You have a fundamental question that leads to a bunch of other questions that need to be answered so that your fundamental question makes sense. This is how I write.
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