Join us, La Sala and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project for readings and discussion by J.A. Dela Cruz-Smith and Maiah A Merino. The artists will speak about the process of creating work, and Malou Chavez from the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project will be here to share resources for immigrants. The event will finish with a Q&A moderated by Catalina Cantu of La Sala.
J.A. Dela Cruz-Smith is a bread baker and poet in Seattle, WA. He is pursuing an MFA in the Rainier Writing Workshop. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Assaracus: A Journal of Gay Poetry and the anthology, Indigenous Literatures from Micronesia, ed. by Evelyn Flores and Emelihter Kihleng.
Indigenous bilingual poet, playwright and creative non-fiction writer Maiah A Merino, shares stories of her mixed culture family, and the pulse of what’s alive in her life currently. A current Writer in the Schools resident through Seattle Arts & Lectures, Maiah teaches prose poetry to youth so they can hear and share their voices within their own communities. Maiah has performed regularly with the Latinx Writer’s Group, Los Nortenos, since 2003. She enjoys collaborative art making across mediums. She recently had three galleried poems featured in an all Latinx Visual Arts show held in Shoreline City Hall from Oct 2017-April 2018. In 2018, Her essay “Bridges and Walls”, appeared in Raven Chronicles Journal, Home. She was also selected 2016/17 and 2017/18 as a Poetry on Buses poet and as a poet on the Seattle Poetic Grid project, hosted by former Seattle Poet Laureate: Claudia Castro. Maiah is a mom to a five-year old son who together enjoy watching the natural world inform their everyday living.
Malou Chavez is NWIRP's Deputy Director, and also currently serving as a staff attorney in the Family Services Unit in Seattle. Malou directly represents people in family-based visa petitions and defends people in removal proceedings. Her prior work in NWIRP's Moses Lake and Wenatchee offices focused on representing survivors of violence in rural eastern Washington obtain immigration relief. Malou received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and she is a graduate of Seattle University’s School of Law.