Q: Some of the poems include quotations from politicians, newspaper articles and immigration documents. Why did you decide to include those, and how did you select the material you included?--Marshal Zeringue
A: During my senior year of high school, when I found out that I was undocumented, I began scouring places like the Los Angeles Times for articles about immigration and the experiences of other undocumented immigrants in America.
I was looking for community, for a solution. In a way, I was also learning about who I “was” in the eyes and of America—and, to some degree, had internalized this new identity and narrative.
I clipped and saved every article in a hot pink, plastic folder, but I rarely ever had to return to them when writing the poems in Driving without a License. I was writing about my life, after all, and not using the gathered material as research for an imagined character.
The quotations from politicians, newspaper articles, and immigration documents, among others had become a part of me—of the language and dominant narrative that I was...[read on]