EventsTacoma Reads: A Conversation with Marcelo Hernandez Castillo Hosted by Mayor Woodards

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Tacoma Reads: A Conversation with Marcelo Hernandez Castillo Hosted by Mayor Woodards

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM


Join Tacoma Public Library and the City of Tacoma for our keynote Tacoma Reads event, a conversation with author of Children of the Land Marcelo Hernandez Castillo and Mayor Victoria Woodards. Joining us will be emcee Antonio "Tony" Gómez, Tacoma Public Library Director Kate Larsen, and a special performance by Tacoma Refugee Choir.

Registration is now open:

Children of the Land is an unforgettable memoir from a prize-winning poet about growing up undocumented in the United States. The novel recounts the sorrows and joys of a family torn apart by draconian policies and chronicles one young man’s attempt to build a future in a nation that denies his existence.

Registration for this event will open on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2020. A discussion with Marcelo Hernandez Castillo and City of Tacoma Mayor Woodards will be followed with a moderated Q&A. The event will be hosted on Zoom.

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is a poet, essayist, translator, and immigration advocate. His memoir Children of the Land (Harper Collins, 2020) is his most recent publication and explores the ideas of separation from deportation, trauma, and mobility between borders.

Castillo was born in Zacatecas, Mexico and immigrated at the age of five with his family to the California central valley. As an AB540 student, he earned his B.A. from Sacramento State University and was the first undocumented student to graduate from the Helen Zell Writers Program at the University of Michigan. His immigration case was used by the Supreme Court to justify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) under president Obama. Castillo is a founding member of the Undocupoets campaign which successfully eliminated citizenship requirements from all major first poetry book prizes in the country and was recognized with the Barnes and Noble “Writers for Writers” award from Poets & Writers Magazine. Through a literary partnership with Amazon Publishing, he has helped to establish The Undocupoet Fellowship which provides funding to help curb the cost of submissions to journals and contests.

Emcee Antonio M. Gómez is an educator, percussionist, arts administrator and public media producer who is passionate about connecting communities and learners with compelling cultural stories and arts experiences. A former K-12 teacher, he manages economically and culturally accessible education programs at Tacoma Arts Live, and has designed video and curricula for PBS and the Museum of Pop Culture. He serves as an Associate Folklorist for the Washington Center for Cultural Traditions. As a percussionist, Tony specializes in Afro-Latin and Mediterranean genres. He performs with Trío Guadalevín and Tango del Cielo. He has been a frequent speaker for Humanities Washington and a Jubilation Foundation Fellow in arts education. He holds an MA in education from the University of California, Berkeley, a BA from the University of Puget Sound, and has done musical/cultural study in Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, Panamá, Spain, Italy, and Morocco. He calls Tacoma home, where he is active with Latinx Unidos del South Sound.

Tacoma Reads is a city-wide reading program that seeks to unite the community in dialogue around contemporary themes through reading a common text.

Tacoma Reads
Read the Book. Join the conversation.

Tacoma Reads 2021
Suitable for:
Grades 5-8
Grades K-5
Grades 8-12
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