UndocuWriting creates an intentional and incubating space for undocumented writers to hone their crafts, connect with one another, and bring out a range of themes that speak to their experiences of migration. Locally and internationally, there are no other programs or spaces that specifically support, nourish, and disseminate work by writers that are undocumented.
For many, the process of publicly revealing one’s lack of legal immigration status in the US is a complex experience. Writing offers an opportunity to explore identities, dig deeper, and to come out courageously. By coming together, these writers are able to tell their own stories outside of the contexts of the usual punditry and policy, and build collective power with other undocumented people across the nation. We aim to support writers across genres—including fiction, non-fiction, playwriting and poetry—capitalizing on the strengths of various styles to connect with readers (and each other) intellectually and emotionally.
UndocuWriting was launched in 2013 with a writing retreat featuring 14 undocumented writers (read the original call for applications), and has since offered support through workshops, residencies, retreats, one-on-one collaborations, and publications. We have also provided financial assistance and mentorship in the application process to undocumented artists who are participating in renowned artist residencies such as VONA Voices and Anderson Ranch—many for the first time.
This fall, we’re launching our very first UndocuWriting Anthology, Home in Time of Displacement, Vol. 1, featuring kick-ass work from writers in the first cohort.
Another key aspect of the project is Undocumenting, a curated website that collects and highlights creative work by artists—visual, literary, multi-media—that happen to be undocumented. By gathering a diverse range of participants and work, Undocumenting aims to spark dialogue and reflection around matters of agency, identity, creativity, self-expression, and intersectionality around the migrant experience and beyond.
Interested in participating in a future workshop or submitting to a publication? Contact Sonia for more information. Plus, check our Events page for anthology readings and launch events across the country.
Get a sneak peak at some of the work featured in Home in Time of Displacement, Vol. 1 by checking out our trailer!