Jorge Argueta’s Caravan to the North: Misael’s Long Walk (Groundwood Books, 2024) is a novel in verse told through the eyes and heart of Misael Martínez, a Salvadoran boy whose family joins the caravan heading north to the United States. We learn all the different reasons why people feel the need to leave — the hope that lies behind their decision, but also the terrible sadness of leaving home. We learn about how far and hard the trip is, but also about the kindness of those along the way. Finally, once the caravan arrives in Tijuana, Misael and those around him are relieved. They think they have arrived at the goal of the trip — to enter the United States. But then tear gas, hateful demonstrations, force and fear descend on these vulnerable people. The border is closed. The book ends with Misael dreaming of El Salvador. With art by the award-winning Mexican illustrator Manuel Monroy, translated by Elizabeth Bell, Caravan to the North is a profound and beautiful book.
Jorge, Pipil Nahua born in El Salvador, left his home at age 19 in the early years of the civil war that raged throughout the 1980s, making his way to San Francisco, and became well known in the cultural scene of the City’s Mission District. A fine poet, his work speaks of the hardships of growing up in El Salvador during wartime and the difficulties experienced by immigrants here in the United States. He writes as well of the Nahuat Indians and their deep appreciation and respect for nature. Two and a half decades ago, he emerged as a prolific author of bilingual children’s books and has published nearly twenty since 2001’s A Movie in My Pillow, garnering many awards for his work all along the way. Traveling frequently to El Salvador through the decades, in 2010 he started the annual International Children’s Poetry Festival in Manyula, El Salvador, which takes place each November. In 2016, he realized a lifelong dream, traveling home to Santo Domingo de Guzmán to build a children’s library, La Biblioteca de los Sueños, the Library of Dreams. Jorge is currently serving as Poet Laureate of San Mateo County. His bookshop and publishing venture occupying a storefront on Mission Street in the St. Mary’s Park neighborhood is called Luna’s Press. He is one of San Francisco’s great treasures.
Supporting Jorge in his reading this afternoon are José Cuéllar, a founder of the ethnic studies discipline at San Francisco State University. popularly known as Dr. Loco of the Rockin’ Jalapeño Band, and Francisco Herrera, poet, songwriter, guitarist and singer.
Our events are put on under the umbrella of the nonprofit Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project (the "BBCLP"). That's how we fund our ambitious schedule of 300 or so concerts and literary events every year.
The BBCLP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit...
[Read More ]
Gigging musicians! You have nothing to lose but your lack of a collective voice to achieve fair wages for your work!
The IMA can be a conduit for you, if you join in to make it work.
Read more here - Andy Gilbert's Feb 25 article about the IMA from KQED's site