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The Undocumented Poet

October 4, 2011 ·

A fellow UCLA DREAMer joins our special screening of Nostalgia for the Light this Thursday.

Nostalgia for the LightOne of my earliest inspirations in the undocumented youth movement was Mario Angel Escobar, a former child soldier from El Salvador who was among the first to publicly share his story and tell the world he was indocumentado. Mario took to legislative allies, and leveraged the power of media, to advocate through a complex immigration case and earn asylum. Mario, now a doctoral student at the University of Maryland, took to poetry to share the story of the pain that undocumented young people, and he will be reading a piece during Thursday's special screening of Nostalgia for the Light.

Here's an excerpt of a poem that appeared on the publication Underground Undergrads: UCLA Undocumented Immigrant Students Speak Out:

I am the backbone
An equal to any
The chant at the end of the day

I am the caresser of voluptuous earth
Her and I become one
The hands that pluck and pick
to satisfy your hunger

I am the tender callus
The naked wind
The new tongue

Flesh seeking peace

I am the silent lip
The gaze that shouts

Click HERE to purchase a ticket to the special screening of "Nostalgia for the Light," a prelude to the Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award. Pre-screening features include a special reception and light fare, with music from Son Cosita Seria and poetry from Mario Escobar.


Matias Ramos
Carol Jean and Edward F. Newman Fellow