The Sonoma Speaker Series presents author, poet, and speaker Javier Zamora on Monday, March 6. In his memoir, Solito, he relates his harrowing journey to the U.S. as an unaccompanied nine-year-old – an unforgettable glimpse into the realities of child migration.
The young Zamora traveled 3,000 miles by bus, boat and on foot, without family or friends, from El Salvador to the United States. Along the way, Zamora was embraced by fellow migrants and folded into a makeshift family. With them, Zamora encountered corrupt police officers and was robbed of the little money he had. He traversed mountains and wire fences that laced the desert border, all so he could be reunited with his parents who lived in Marin County and who he had not seen in years.
In Solito, which means “alone” in Spanish, he recounts in gripping detail his boyhood travels and his experience as an immigrant growing up in San Rafael. He explored similar themes in Unaccompanied, a collection of poems.
“The topic of immigration seems to be everywhere in poetry nowadays,” he’s said. “My frustration is: where were these poems, these editors, when it mattered to people like me? I’m happy to see all the immigration poems published from immigrants themselves. These are important. It’s our turn now. But it’s also our turn to shift the conversation. I’m wondering where else can this narrative go? How can we push this narrative further?”
The conversation with David Bolling, Valley of the Moon publisher and Sun contributor, begins at 7pm. VIP reception 5:45pm. $35-$75. Hanna Center Auditorium, 17000 Arnold. Sonomaspeakerseries.com.