Poet and scholar Rachelle Linda Escamilla has been invited by the Library of Congress Hispanic Division to record her work and conduct research on July 12 in Washington D.C.
The Hollister native has been invited to record her poetry for the Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape where her name will be found next to great U.S writers like Jimmy Santiago Baca, Ana Castillo, and Juan Felipe Herrera.
Additionally, the Library of Congress Hispanic Division has also welcomed Escamilla to conduct research as a visiting scholar for the courses she will be teaching this fall at California State University Monterey Bay.
“All it really means to be a visiting scholar is that I have access to beautiful reading rooms, and every single book ever archived with the Library of Congress,” said Escamilla, “My time here is spent reading, thinking, developing bibliographies, and writing.”
Important topics that she writes about and inspires others to explore relate to the origins of migration, labor, Chicanidad, family, poverty, and as she described, "the current state of dehumanization of migrant students attending California State University Monterey Bay". The courses Escamilla will be teaching this fall are Chicana Poetry and Social Action Multicultural Poetry.
According to Escamilla, the inspiration behind her own journey in literature and research is her grandfather, Alejo Hernandez, who helped fund the Health Foundation in San Benito County after fighting for legislation in the 1970’s.
“… Every bibliography I generate describes the generation of my grandfather as ‘wetback’ and ‘illegal alien,’” she said. “I know those terms are ‘correct’ and that they exist, but what a blow to my mind and body and memory.”
The research conducted at this time will correlate to the third book she is writing. Her second book, Me Drawing a Picture of Me[n] is set to be published by Willow Books in the spring of 2019.
Escamilla’s current position at California State University Monterey Bay is lecturer in the Social Writing Program within the school of Humanities and Communications. She is also the producer and host of the longest running poetry radio show: Out of Our Minds on KKUP.
You can learn more about Rachelle on her website: Poetita.com.