Published June 19, 2024
Clockwise from top left: Creative writers Hareth Andrade Ayala, Cecilia Morales, Nataly Montano, and Enya Cid participated in a Dream Project writing workshop and are featured in episode one, “Telling Our Story.” 

These three episodes of stories explore the power and impact of American immigrant writers, including works from a Dream Project writing workshop with college students and other emerging authors. The Dream Project empowers Virginia students whose immigration status creates barriers to higher education through access to scholarships, resources, and mentors.

In 2022, Enya joined other first generation immigrants in a writing workshop hosted by the publisher Restless Books and Arlington, Virginia’s Dream Project. Restless Books is a nonprofit publisher “devoted to championing essential voices from around the world whose stories speak to us across linguistic and cultural borders.”

Later in the show: Workshop participants Nataly Montano, Karen Vallejos CorralesCecilia Morales, and Hareth Andrade Ayala share their stories of immigrating to this country and read some of their written work.

Episode Excerpts

Who decides what makes a language? In countries all over the world, there are official organizations with that job–in France, Croatia, India, Denmark, Nigeria, Mexico. But Ilan Stavans reminds us that in the United States, the people decide our language.

Later in the show: Christina Rodriguez says Hispanic barrios play a big part in Latinx literature; Cristina Stanciu argues that it’s worth looking at turn of the century immigrant narratives alongside those of Native Americans; and Katrina Powell shares how writers are resisting the stereotypical migrant story.

Teenagers have long turned to books for a guide on how to live, but for kids of immigrant parents, those guides can be particularly important. Addie Tsai’s first novel was a YA book that wrestled with many of the same complex issues they faced as a kid.

Later in the show: SJ Sindu says that everything she writes is translated through the lens of her experience as an immigrant, a refugee, and a queer person; Majo Delgadillo, an immigrant from Mexico, explains how she writes in both English and Spanish; and Yuemin He takes on the extra challenge of translating poetry.

Learning Experience

The Changing Tides of Appalachia

An examination of global social movements through local oral histories.

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