Monday, April 7, 2014

Bryan Allen Fierro: Crossing Borders

Luis Alberto Urrea

Tonight, April 7, at 7 pm, 49 Writers welcomes author Luis Alberto Urrea to the Willa Marston Theater at Loussac Library in Anchorage for a Crosscurrents discussion. It is my honor to have been chosen to engage Luis in a discussion about “Crossing Borders.” 

Before anyone passes any judgment on a border or immigration discussion, first think about the borders in your own life, the places you’ve been, the places you intend to go…are there any borders, defined, or imaginary, that must be crossed?  These borders include the social (I don’t mean switching from Twitter to Tumblr), cultural, geographical, social economical, the mythical and magical.  This evening with Luis Alberto Urrea will be about the movement between all these multiple points, how we get there and how we engrave our own heart in place. 

Luis Alberto Urrea is an award-wining author.  His works include The Devil’s Highway, Six Kinds of Sky, The Hummingbird’s Daughter, Into the Beautiful North, and The Queen of America, among other nonfiction and poetry titles.   You will find that each of his works is full of an immeasurable heart and humor, and a sense of humanity that most of us forget day to day. His prose is driven by precision imagery and deft storytelling. With any luck, we will all learn a thing or hundred about craft, and process. His accomplishment is steeped in hard work as a writer, a dedication that is admirable and truly the take away for any aspiring author looking to define their own commitment.

My intentions are to just stay out of his way tonight, for the most part.  What I want the audience to bring is a sense of where they come from and how they arrived at this great place, Alaska.  If you are born and raised here, chances are the rest of the those limbs on the family tree are not, so search them out and find the place of departure that eventually pointed North.  

Anchorage specifically is a bounty of ethnicity—Mexican, Samoan, Chinese, Hmong, Russian, African, and the list goes on.  ALL of these peoples have story in them, their own perspective on crossing over.  It is time to come together and see the value that is sharing story, the value in voice, and necessity of each.  Luis Alberto Urrea’s writing represents more than the physical line of delineation between the US and Mexico—it represents how we get to the better side in each of us.  I hope you will join 49 Writers for this unique and truly experience. 

I will even throw in my experience in the Border Patrol, and how I gave up that career to instead write here in Alaska. 


1 comment:

Christina Whiting said...

Hello. I'm one of the writers down in Homer who took the two day workshop from Luis and also went to both of his talks. He is a fantastic storyteller and I encourage everyone to take advantage of him being in our neck of the woods. Enjoy him and what he has to share. His stories about the border crossings are not easy to hear, but his ability to engage his audience is quite astounding. Before he came to Homer I had never heard of him and now, I look forward to reading several of his books.