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Javier Zamora

Poet Details

Monica Sok

Poet Javier Zamora was born in the small El Salvadoran coastal fishing town of La Herradura and immigrated to the United States at the age of nine, joining his parents in California. He earned a BA at the University of California, Berkeley and an MFA at New York University.

Zamora’s love of poetry was sparked in his last year of high school when visiting poet Rebecca Foust introduced the class to Pablo Neruda’s Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair. In his poems, Zamora often engages history, borders, and memory.

In a 2014 interview with Paula Beete for the National Endowment for the Arts Art Works Blog, Zamora stated, “[Poetry] matters because there's a history of all the poets who have risked their lives [to write]. I think in the United States we forget that writing and carrying that banner of ‘being a poet’ is tied into a long history of people that have literally risked [their lives] and died to write those words.”

Zamora’s chapbook Nueve Años Inmigrantes/Nine Immigrant Years won the 2011 Organic Weapon Arts Contest, and his poetry was featured in Best New Poets 2013.

His honors include a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, an Olive B. O’Connor Fellowship in Creative Writing at Colgate University, a CantoMundo fellowship, scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, and a Meridian Editors’ Prize.

Javier Zamora

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    Poet Javier Zamora was born in the small El Salvadoran coastal fishing town of La Herradura and immigrated to the United States at the age of nine, joining his parents in California. He earned a BA at the University of California, Berkeley and an MFA at New York University.
    Zamora’s love of poetry was sparked in his last year of high school when visiting poet Rebecca Foust introduced the class to Pablo Neruda’s Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair. In his poems, Zamora often engages history, borders, and memory.
    In a 2014 interview with Paula Beete for the National Endowment for the Arts Art Works Blog, Zamora stated, “[Poetry] matters because there's a history of all the poets who have risked their lives [to write]. I think in the United States we forget that writing and carrying that banner of ‘being a poet’ is tied into a long history of people that have...

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