FLYING MEXICANS

//Short Story// Originally appeared in the Kenyon Review Online,  Fall, 2013   There’s a corrido that says every boy’s death comes from his desire to be like his father.  And then when the boy dies, he finally becomes a man. But let’s be clear—I really just died at sixteen and I died nothing like my father,…

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NARCO MEXICO

//Negotiating with a Narco-State: Must Mexico’s Future Rely on a Citizen-Cartel Bargain?// Originally appeared on Latino Rebels, December 12, 2014 The assertion that cartels own the Mexican government is not hyperbole. This is a fact. A well known, well documented fact that isn’t even part of this developing 21st century Mexican story, but is the whole story…

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DETROIT

//DETROIT: AMERICA’S CIUDAD JUÁREZ// Originally appeared in THE RUMPUS, September 23rd, 2013 Even before there was a war in Ciudad Juárez, I remember that Juárez, like much of the border during my childhood in the’90s, had the feel of a war zone—sublime, heavy, preternaturally charged in its own unique way. Few other places resonate with the same…

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IGUALA

//Iguala, Ayotzinapa, and Why Carolyn Forché is More Relevant Than Ever// Originally appeared in the Ploughshares Blog, December 3rd, 2014 I went to Mexico City to write about it. But also to read a lot too. To slough off the rust of my own ignorance about this country my family came from. You can never…

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CORCHADO

//The Book That Changed My Country// Originally appeared in the Ploughshares Blog, October 19th, 2014 I mostly sit at the window when I’m working at Café la Habana. I have a spot. It’s the same spot where I sat when my buddy, Santiago, first brought me for coffee when I arrived in Mexico City. But…

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MEXICO CITY

//Ploughshares Literary Boroughs #55: Mexico City, Mexico// Originally appeared in the Ploughshares Blog, Septembr 24th, 2014 Located in the Anahuac valley of Mexico, the Mexico City metropolitan area is home to about twenty-three million people or about two-thirds of the entire population of Canada. And in many ways, Mexico (as it’s commonly referred to by…

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CHICANA LIT

//Is Chicana/o Lit Dead? (A: No, not really): A Teacher’s Ramblings// Originally appeared in the Ploughshares Blog, September 8th, 2014 It used to be that I didn’t know what Chicana/o literature was. Sometimes I still think I don’t, which is embarrassing because I teach classes on Chicana/o lit. The dictionary definition is easy—it’s been studied,…

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