On the Same Page: Solito

September/October 2023 Selection


Javier Zamora

Javier Zamora's memoir and poetry revolve around his unforgettable migration from El Salvador to the United States at nine years old. Traveling with strangers and a hired "coyote," he left his family behind, embarking on a supposed two-week journey that stretched into two life-altering months. Zamora narrates his near-impossible journey filled with perilous boat trips, desert treks, arrests and betrayals, highlighting moments of kindness, love and joy.

His memoir, Solito, received acclaim and was selected as the "Read with Jenna" Today Show book. It was a New York Times bestseller and longlisted for the PEN America 2023 Literary Awards. Zamora now shares his immigrant and artist journey at various venues, exploring healing from trauma through therapy, poetry and nature hikes.

As a native Salvadoran who grew up as an undocumented American, he delves into the complex meanings of home and identity. Facing challenges due to his immigration status, Zamora co-founded Undocupoets to fight citizenship-based discrimination in poetry publishing and contests. His advocacy led to organizations like the American Academy of Poets and the Poetry Foundation opening their prize submissions to all poets regardless of immigration status.

Zamora's accolades include fellowships from Stanford University, Harvard, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. His debut poetry collection, Unaccompanied, reflects on navigating politics, racism, war, and the impact of border crossing on his family. With a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MFA from New York University, Zamora's work has been published in notable publications. He resides in Tucson, AZ.

Related Events

On The Same Page Book Club - Tue., Oct. 24, 7 p.m., Virtual Library       

Author Talk – Javier Zamora in Conversation with Hernan Acevedo – Thur., Oct. 26, 7 p.m., Virtual Library   

“I can feel The Journey in the soles of my feet. I see it in my dreams.” 

“Puedo sentir El Viaje en las plantas de mis pies. Lo veo en mis sueños.” 

― Javier Zamora, Solito