Author Daniel Borzutzky on poetic immigration

Gayana Parsegova, Opinion editor

Between incorporating his Chilean roots, and his childhood based in the windy city of Chicago, Daniel Borzutzky is a passionate writer who encourages open discourse for global issues. Borzutzky utilizes his upbringing as a source of inspiration for his literary work.

Professor Mark Wallace of the Literature & Writing department, organized yet another successful “Community and World Literary Series” event. On April 13 in Markstein 125, Borzutzky had the opportunity to give a compelling reading of his various works of poetry to students.

Borzutzky’s work is unique,  as he incorporates simplistic and relative outside sources such as cartoons as a visual aid within his poetry. When presenting his poem, The Performance of Becoming Human, his piece makes commentary on refugees/immigrants looking for a better life over the border. By using a clip of Speedy Gonzales from the Looney Tunes cartoon, he plays it silently in the background while reading his poem, synchronizing his words along with what is happening on the screen.

Borzutzky was awarded, “The National Book Award Winner” of 2016 for his book The Performance of Becoming Human.

When asked about his writing process in regards to his poetry and how he creates open dialogue on the topic of immigration, Borzutzky says, “I don’t want to compare what a person goes through emotionally versus what I may think they may be going through since I am not them, nor do I want to make the physical comparison. I think back to the military kou in Chile of 1973 where 1,000 people were tortured and killed.”

For more information regarding upcoming events in the “Community and World Literary Series,” events, visit