Submissions for the LAF Writing Competition are now closed. Winners will be notified in April.LAF Competition
Two poems by José Olivarez are featured in The Adroit Journal: “A Mexican Dreams of Heaven” and “My Family Never Finished Migrating, We Just Stopped”
In this Oct. 16, 2018 interview in the New York Times, Olivarez is joined by Latinx writers Julissa Arce and Jose Antonio Arce to discuss “immigration, belonging, and mental health: “3 Writers on the Emotional Toll of Being Undocumented.”
In this essay published in The Medium in September 2018, José Olivarez discusses his shift in his understanding that education is related to power, his early reading of work by Latinx writers, and his beginning as new poet. He also discusses the role of mentoring newer poets and how that influences his current writing.
From the essay: “Maybe I could write the stories I was craving to read. Maybe I could save myself by writing.”
In this Paris Review interview, published in August 2018, José Olivarez discusses his poem, “There Are No White People in Heaven,” gentrification and the importance of writing poetry that speaks to his own generations. He states:
“A lot of the poems are about my family, my experience as a first generation Mexican-American Chicano, and I wanted to write poems that were not shameful, not ashamed. I wanted them to be poems that my brother wouldn’t be embarrassed to show his co-workers, that my mom could share with the family, with her co-workers, that my students would want to give to their friends. I didn’t want them to look at the poems and think wow, José is so ashamed of us, or, José is so sad to be a part of us. I am very proud of my people, where I come from, and my community. ”
The interview is titled after a poem by Olivarez, the first of two poems in The Adroit Journal, also featured on this OpenLab site.