Born in Santa Ana, El Salvador, poet William Archila immigrated to the United States in 1980 to escape his native country’s civil war. He earned an MFA at the University of Oregon. His poems engage themes of social justice, brutality and identity. In an online interview with the Poetry Society of America, Archila states, “To me the function of poetry is about naming the truth. It is about constructing a new language, and as long as there is a necessity to aesthetically form an authentic voice, there's no need to examine whether it's important or not. The human voice in struggle will always be important.”
Archila is the author of the poetry collections The Art of Exile (2009), which won the Emerging Writer Fellowship Award from the Writer’s Center as well as the International Latino Book Award, and The Gravedigger’s Archaeology (2015), which won the Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize. His poetry is also featured in anthologies including Another City: Writing from Los Angeles (2001), Kalina: Theatre Under My Skin, Contemporary Salvadoran Poetry (2014), and The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States (2017).