IMMIGRANT STORIES - San Antonio Book Festival
April, 15 2023


  • 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  •    |   Location of Session: Latino Collection Resource Center
  • Adult Sessions
  • Start of Signing: 4:15 pm
  •    |   Signing Location: Festival Marketplace

About the Event

Created entirely by undocumented or formerly undocumented migrants, Somewhere We Are Human: Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival, and New Beginnings is an anthology of essays, poetry, and art. Co-editor and contributor Reyna Grande, along with contributors Rita E. Urquijo-Ruiz and Jesús I. Valles, reveal nuanced portraits of humanity.

About the Co-editor and Contributors

Reyna Grande - The San Antonio Book Festival Photo Credit: Rara Arbabzadeh

Reyna Grande

Reyna Grande is an award-winning author, motivational speaker, and writing teacher. As a young girl, she crossed the US–Mexico border to join her family in Los Angeles, a harrowing journey chronicled in The Distance Between Us, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Her other books include the novels Across a Hundred Mountains, and Dancing with Butterflies, the memoirs The Distance Between Us: Young Readers Edition, and A Dream Called Home. Her latest books are the anthology Somewhere We Are Human: Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival, and New Beginnings and the novel The Ballad of Love and Glory. She lives in Woodland, California, with her husband and two children. She is the co-editor of the Somewhere We Are Human anthology.

Rita E. Urquijo-Ruiz - The San Antonio Book Festival

Rita E. Urquijo-Ruiz

Dr. Rita E. Urquijo-Ruiz is a Mexicana/Chicana fronteriza queer educator, translator, writer, activist, and performer from Sonora, Mexico and southern California. She is a professor at Trinity University who teaches Mexican, Chicana/o/e/x, and Latina/o/e/x literatures, cultures, gender, sexuality, theater, and performance studies. She authored Wild Tongues: Transnational Mexican Popular Culture. She is the translator of three children’s books with Lee & Low Books. She also translated the opera The Three Women of Jerusalem – Las tres mujeres de Jerusalén for the Los Angeles Opera in 2022. Her work appears in the Somewhere We Are Human anthology edited by Reyna Grande.

Jesús I. Valles - The San Antonio Book Festival

Jesús I. Valles

Jesús I. Valles (they/them) is a queer Mexican immigrant, educator, writer-performer from Cd. Juarez/El Paso. Jesús is a CantoMundo fellow at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival; a Lambda Literary fellow; a Walter E. Dakin Playwriting Fellow of the Sewanee Writers’ Conference; a recipient of the Letras Latinas Scholarship from the Community of Writers’ Poetry Workshop; and a poetry fellow at Idyllwild Arts Writers Week. Jesús is also a Undocupoets Fellow; a Tin House Scholar; a fellow of The 2018 Poetry Incubator; and the runner-up in the 2017 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest. Their work has been published and been featured in many publications including The Texas Review, The New Republic, NPR’s Code Switch, The Slowdown, The BreakBeat Poets’ LatiNext Anthology, the Best New Poets 2020 anthology, and the anthology, Somewhere We Are Human. As an actor, they are the recipient of four B. Iden Payne Awards, and they were nominated for the Mark David Cohen New Play Award for their play, (Un)Documents. Their playwriting work has received awards and support from OUTSider festival, Teatro Vivo, The VORTEX, The Kennedy Center, New York Theatre Workshop, The Latino Theatre Co. at the LATC, and The Flea. Jesús is currently an MFA playwriting student at Brown University.


Sarah Zenaida Gould

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