Marisol Cortez

As a mentally-intense, mixed-blood Xicana weirdo rooted in San Antonio but formally coming of age in rural Central Texas, poetry was the first form of political agency accessible to me and also the first theoretical work I produced. Even after I found communities for political resistance and critical inquiry, I could never really get away from creative writing either in my scholarship or my activism.

These days, I understand myself primarily as a writer, albeit one who feels most comfortable working in the spaces between artistic, activist, and academic worlds, as well as across creative genres (poetry, fiction, essay, theory, manifesto). Much of my writing bears out all these tensions: I write hybrid, cross-genre, mixed-blood Xicana texts that can’t quite (and ultimately don’t want to) extricate poetry and storytelling from historical analysis and cultural theory from direct, on-the-ground struggle. As a writer grounded in the collective work of movement building for environmental and social justice, I find myself most often gravitating toward questions of place, power, and the possibilities proliferating at the margins. I write to remember the land and its pluriverse of inhabitants; to make visible colonial logics of displacement; and above all to give voice to those longings that might call forth new relationships of ecosocial interdependence and solidarity. I write for all the other borderwalking weirdos out there.

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