Javier Zamora is a Salvadoran American poet and activist. His debut work explores borderland politics and race and the ways in which immigration and the civil war have impacted his family.
During his fellowship year, Zamora is working on a novel-in-verse, “1999 & Other Poems,” about his eight-week journey as an unaccompanied minor traveling from El Salvador to Mexico without family members. The project is written from the viewpoint of a nine-year-old questioning what it means to be a Salvadoran citizen crossing through hostile countries that rob him of his humanity.
Zamora holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied and taught in June Jordan’s Poetry for the People program. He earned an MFA from New York University and was recently a 2016–2018 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Zamora has been granted fellowships from CantoMundo, Colgate University, the MacDowell Colony, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and Yaddo. The recipient of a 2017 Lannan Literary Fellowship, the 2017 Narrative Prize, and a 2016 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, Zamora has published his poems in Granta, the Kenyon Review, the New York Times, Poetry, and elsewhere. Unaccompanied (Copper Canyon Press, 2017) is his first collection.