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Poet and critic Lila Zemborain is the author of several poetry collections, including Abrete sésamo debajo del agua (1993), Usted (1998), Guardianes del secreto (2002) - translated into English as Guardians of the Secret (2009), Malvas orquídeas del mar (2004) - translated into English as Mauve Sea-orchids (2007), and Diario de la hamaca paraguaya (2014), as well as the chapbooks Ardores (1989), and Pampa (2001). She has collaborated with artist Martin Reyna on La couleur de l’ eau / El color del agua (2008), translated into French by Sarah T. Reyna, and with poet Joan Navarro and artist Pere Salinas on Llum Cinabri / Calma tectónica (2015), translated into Catalan by Joan Navarro. Her work has also appeared in the art catalogues Alessandro Twombly (2007), translated by Rosa Alcalá, Heidi McFall (2005), translated by Hanya Wozniak, and in numerous publications from Latin America, Spain and the US. Zemborain holds a Ph.D. degree from New York University. As a critic, she is the author of Gabriela Mistral. Una mujer sin rostro (2002). She is the Creative editor of Xul Solar. Jorge Luis Borges. The Art of Friendship (2013). She has been the director and editor of the Rebel Road Series (2000-2007) and, since 2004, she curates the KJCC Poetry Series at New York University. She has taught in the Summer Writing Program at Naropa University, and was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim fellowship, a Residency Fellowship at the Millay Colony, and she was a finalist for the Festival de la Lira Award, from Ecuador. She was the Director of NYU’s Creative Writing in Spanish Program from 2009 to 2012.
Elias Sepulveda was born to Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles where he lived until he moved to Wisconsin more than twenty years ago. He has this to say about writing: "Poetry is a very confessional medium for me. Growing up in rougher neighborhoods with extremely conservative parents and family created this vacuum, this suffocation, that essentially stagnated my voice. There was no place for the expression of emotions or reflection on the hardships of everyday life because those types of activities were considered a weakness, and that made someone a target. I intuitively developed a strategy in my writing, using abstract form like surrealism, while adding depth to my work through multiple layering of significations created a clearing where I could incorporate my own personal history. It’s not that I feel ashamed (today) to blatantly state what I feel or went through but the richness of language that developed from that strategy is something that I hope I can share with the world.”
Part of our series Unwriting Borders: Latinx Voices in the U.S., curated by Roberto Harrison and sponsored by the Milwaukee Arts Board.