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Program Type: NEA Big Read

Wandering in the Beautiful Norte: Instructions for Border Crossers

Reflecting on the novel Into the Beautiful North, this talk examines the search for connection and community across borders, as well as the bonds, the specters, and the oftentimes traumatic residue that remains when crossing from one country to another.

Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez is an unrepentant border crosser, ex-dj, Xicano writer, painter, and academic. An Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Hispanic Southwest Literatures and Cultures at the University of New Mexico, he has also taught and lectured at universities across the United States, Latin America, and Europe. Author of four collections of short stories, Algún día te cuento las cosas que he visto (2012), Luego el silencio (2014), One Day I’ll Tell You the Things I’ve Seen (2015), and En el Lost y Found (2016). His most recent work is a co-edited anthology of scholarly writing, The Latino/a Midwest Reader. Widely published in Spanish, his literary work has appeared in anthologies and literary journals in Spain, Italy, Latin America and the United States. Widely published in Spanish, his stories bear witness to the lives of Latinas/os living through the cultural consequences of migration. Commenting on his writing, Junot Díaz has said “Santiago Vaquera is literary lightning. He impresses, he illuminates, and when he is at his best you are left shaken, in awe.