Skip to main content

Writers to give personal take on border crossing

Alberto Rios
September 01, 2010

Authors Reyna Grande, Alberto Rios and Terry Greene Sterling will give their unique perspectives on immigration during the upcoming “Writers on Border Lines.” The event will consist of a reading by each of the panelists followed by an open discussion. Evelyn Haydee Cruz, director of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Immigration Law & Policy Clinic at Arizona State University, will also participate.

Sponsored by the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, the reading and discussion will take place Thursday, Oct. 21 at 7:45 p.m. at the Great Hall in Armstrong Hall (Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law) on ASU’s Tempe campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Grande is the author of two novels, including the critically acclaimed “Across A Hundred Mountains” for which she won the 2007 American Book Award and the EL Premio Azlan Literary Award. Born in Mexico, she was raised by her grandparents when her parents left to work in the United States. She came to the U.S. at the age of 9 as an undocumented immigrant and went on to become the first member of her family to earn a college degree.

Rios grew up in the border town of Nogales, Ariz. His father was born in Mexico, came to the U.S. at the age of 14, joined the military and met Rios’ mother while stationed at an Air Force base in England. A Regents’ Professor of English at ASU, Rios is the author of several collections of poetry, including “The Theater of Night,” winner of the 2007 PEN/Beyond Margins Award. His memoir, “Capirotada: A Nogales Memoir,” about growing up on the Mexico-Arizona border, won the Latino Literary Hall of Fame Award and was the 2009 OneBookAZ selection.

Sterling, an award-winning journalist, was born into a family that owned cattle ranches on both sides of the border. Her recently published book “Illegal: Life and Death in Arizona’s Immigration War Zone” takes an in-depth look at the people who navigate the system on a daily basis. She spent 17 months interviewing and documenting the individual experiences for the book. A three-time winner of Arizona’s highest journalism honor, the Virg Hill Journalist of the Year Award, she was an investigative reporter for the Phoenix New Times for 13 years and is currently the Writer-in-Residence at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

For more information about the event, contact the Piper Center for Creative Writing, (480) 965-6018, or