How Immigrant Writers Are Shaping New Genre of Undocumented Literature

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Portrait of Reyna Grande author of "A Ballad of Love and Glory." (Image courtesy of Reyna Grande)

The public discourse about undocumented immigrants often lacks humanity and complexity according to writers Reyna Grande and Rafael Agustin, who have written acclaimed memoirs about their immigrant experiences. They and many others bring nuanced narratives to the burgeoning genre of undocumented literature. Grande co-edited “Somewhere We Are Human,” an anthology released last year that features work by 41 undocumented or formerly undocumented writers, poets and artists. The editors’ note states, “Opportunities and infrastructure for immigrants to tell their own stories in their own words are few and far between.” In this hour of Forum, we’ll hear some of those stories and discuss the undocumented experience in America.


Reyna Grande, author, "A Ballad of Love and Glory," "The Distance Between Us," "A Dream Called Home," "Across a Hundred Mountains," and "Dancing with Butterflies"

Aline Mello, poet and author of the poetry collection, "More Salt Than Diamond," and essay "Fit," which appears in the anthology, "Somewhere We Are Human."

Kaveh Bassiri, Iranian poet, translator who is currently a Tusla Artist Fellow in Oklahoma; his poems appeared in the anthology, "Somewhere We Are Human."

Rafael Agustin, television writer; CEO, the Latino Film Institute; author, "Illegally Yours"