"As I held the pen in contemplation my finger's back broke — it carried the weight of all my unspoken thoughts on its shoulders"

Julián Esteban Torres López is a storyteller who expresses his thoughts by way of poetry, journalism, memoir, essays, short fiction, and experimental soundscapes. For many years he was a spoken word artist. He’s a Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net, and Best Small Fictions nominee; a finalist for the Trilogy Award in Short Fiction; a recipient of the McNair Fellowship; a winner of the Rudy Dusek Essay Prize in Philosophy of Art; a former columnist for Colombia Reports; and the author of three books:

Episode 4: “Author Interview: Identity and Activism through Poetry.” Poet Angela Rideau interviews Julián on Poems From My Heart Podcast about his poetry collection, Ninety-Two Surgically Enhanced Mannequins. They discuss identity, language, heritage, lineage, and craft. Julián reads from his poetry collection, touches on the political situation of the Great Colombian Uprising of 2021, and performs a passionate spoken-word piece on his hometown of Medellín; episode published in May, 2021.

"The skeleton of my memory has two broken ribs and a fractured spine, but if listened to closely, the barking of my heart can still be heard"

Julián is also working on a collection of short stories, a memoir, a collection of interviews, editing an anthology on womanhood and trauma, and helping bring to the world the first Spanish-to-English edition of the 1916 book Pensamientos de un Viejo (Reflections of an Old Man) by Colombian writer and existentialist philosopher Fernando González — “el filósofo de Otraparte” (The Philosopher from Somewhere-Else).

Below you can engage with examples of Julián's work.

“An Ill-iterate Birth,” poetry in The LKMNDS Podcast (produced in partnership with The Kneeland Center for Poetry, Inc., and The Elevation Review), forthcoming, September 2021.

“The ultimate poem is abstract,” personal essay in Luna Luna Magazine, forthcoming, July 2021.

The Wind,” spoken word poem and experimental soundscape in Rigorous, Volume 5, Issue 2, June 2021.

Sleepwalking through the 20th,” experimental audio story in Havik 2021: Inside Brilliance, May 2021.

The Right Wing May Have Lit the Fire, but the Left Wing May Dig the Grave,” editorial in The Nasiona, Issue 23, 12 Jan. 2021.

On Faith and Other Demons: Why I Do Not Have (Nor Want to Have) Faith In Humanity,” editorial in The Nasiona, Issue 22, 23 Dec. 2020.

Apart, but Together for Change,” editorial in The Nasiona, Issue 19, 22 Apr. 2020.

Rain Date,” poetry in SUSAN / THE JOURNAL, August 2018.

The Obituaries Editor,” flash fiction in Into The Void Magazine, Issue 9, July 2018. Into the Void nominated this piece for both the Pushcart Prize and Best Small Fictions.

Colorful,” flash fiction in Burningword Literary Journal, Issue 86, April 2018.

Read the foreword HERE.

MIXED is available in paperback on Amazon, on Amazon Kindle, and on Barnes and Noble‘s website.

The definition of families is widening, whether it’s because of mixed-race relationships, interracial adoption, or numerous other factors. Today, it is important to hear from a growing population about race, their shifting identities, and what family means to them. At the heart of the issue are the mixed-race families. Many mixed-race children have had difficulties fitting in, whether with one race or the other. In mixed-race relationships, one partner may face racism, while the other may not, or else they will experience racism in different ways. Children who have been adopted into families that identify as a race that is not theirs often find that they struggle to fit in with their families as well as with people who identify as their own race. Not only are these families navigating US American culture at large, but they also must navigate their own family structures and what it means to be mixed.


By Nicole Zelniker


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