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Javier Zamora

Javier Zamora is a rising star in the literary world of the Americas. He was born in the small El Salvadoran town of La Herradura and immigrated to the U.S. at nine, joining his parents in California and growing up undocumented. Zamora earned his BA at UC Berkley and his MFA at NYU, where he studied with Yusef Komunyakaa, Sharon Olds, and Charles Simic. Zamora’s first chapbook Nueve Años Inmigrantes/Nine Immigrant Years engaged with history, borders, and memory, winning the 2011 Organic Weapon Arts contest. Since then, his poems have been featured in Best New Poets 2013, The Kenyon Review, PEN America, Poetry Magazine, and many others. He has already received many honors, including a N.E.A fellowship, the 2016 Ruth Lilly Fellowship, and a Wallace Stegner fellowship, among others. Zamora is part of the unofficial group, the Undocupoets, who work to promote undocumented writers and challenge the current status quo of publishing.


Lannan Literary Fellowship in Poetry, 2017


EA Creative Writing Fellowship, 2015


Wallace Stegner Fellowship, Stanford University, 2016-18


Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship, 2016


CantoMundo Fellowship, 2012


Consequence Magazine Prize in Poetry, 2014

“Love is made difficult in the space of families linked by one man’s struggle with violence and the way it inhabits his mind and his heart. This is a remarkable accomplishment in the space of one poem.”— Afaa Michael Weaver, judge


Breadloaf Scholarship recipient, 2010


MacDowell Colony Fellowship, 2016


Olive B. O’Connor Fellowship in Creative Writing, Colgate University, 2014-15


Organic Weapons Chapbook Prize (now known as David Blair Memorial Chapbook Prize), 2011


Meridian Editors Prize, 2014

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