Speedway & Swan Episode 36: the Poetry of Migration

Speedway and Swan: the Poetry of Migration with special guests Abby Dockter, Gabe Dozal and Raquel Gutiérrez.


With so much of our attention turned toward immigration issues, we devoted this entire episode of Speedway and Swan to poetry related to migration and borders. Our guest hosts  (three writers recently returned from some in-depth border investigations as part of the University of Arizona’s Southwest Field Studies in Writing Project) share poems that crossterritories extending from Guam to Puerto Rico, Greece to Mexico as well as the Sonoran desert.


Featuring musical selections by Gabriel Garzón-Montano, My Morning Jacket and Café Tacuba.



Mónica de la Torre | “How to Look at Mexican Highways,” Talk Shows. Switchback Books, 2006.


Daniel Borzutzky| "Let Light Shine Out of the Darkness" and "In the Blazing Cities of Your Rotten Carcass Mouth," The Performance of Being Human. Brooklyn Arts Press, 2016


Craig Santos Pérez |"Preface" from Unincorporated Territory [Hacha]. Tinfish Press, 2008.


Craig Santos Pérez |"ginen preterrain" from Unincorporated Territory [Saina]. Omnidawn Publishing, 2010.


Vincent Toro| “Ricanstruction: Xenochrony.” Stereo. Island. Mosaic. Ahsahta Books, 2016.


Brian Blanchfield |"According to Herodotus," A Several World. Nightboat Books, 2014.


Emmy Pérez | "Left after crossing," With the River on Our Face. The University of Arizona, 2016.


Javier Zamora |“Second Attempt Crossing,” Unaccompanied. Copper Canyon, 2017.


Juan Felipe Herrera| “Everyday We Get More Illegal.” Poets.org (2011).


Steven Alvarez | "Nodes in a Bloodline Network," The Codex Mojaodicus. Fence, 2017.

Micha Cárdenas, Amy Sara Carroll, Ricardo Dominguez et al. | Excerpts from “The Desert Survival Series,” Asterix Journal (Aug 8, 2017).


Ari Banias | "Villagers," anybody.  Norton, 2016.




Gabe Dozal is an MFA Candidate in Poetry at the University of Arizona.  From El Paso, TX, he writes about the code-switching, camouflage, and chameleon nature of the borderlands.


After years working in field and lab science jobs up and down the Rockies, Abby Dockter earned her an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. She has written for the Institute of the Environment and edited Nonfiction for Sonora Review. Her work can be found in The OWL, Essay Daily, and deep in the Mesa Verde National Park website.


Raquel Gutiérrez is a poet and essayist pursuing her MFA degree in poetry at the University of Arizona. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she writes about space and institutionality and publishes chapbooks by queers of color with the tiny press Econo Textual Objects,. Her work can be found in FENCE, Zócalo Public Square, ASAP Journal, HuizacheThe Portland ReviewLos Angeles Weekly, and Entropy.




For more information about the University of Arizona’s Southwest Field Studies in Writing Project sponsored by the Agnese Nelms Haury Program, click here


For more poetry on migration, take a look at these resources sponsored by the Poetry Collation, a network of network of organizations from across the United States including the UA Poetry Center that presented programs and projects on the theme of migration in March 2017.


And for the curious, according to Wikipedia, the term “Xenochrony” is a studio based music technique that may have been first used by Frank Zappa and “is executed by extracting a guitar solo or other musical part from its original context and placing it into a completely different song, in order to create an unexpected but pleasing effect.”



SPEEDWAY & SWAN is a monthly, one-hour free-format radio program that presents contemporary poetry against a context of variously compatible and offbeat musical selections.  Culling from the exceptional libraries of her partners, the University of Arizona Poetry Center and KXCI 91.3 Tucson Community Radio, host Susan Briante is joined in conversation each episode by a rotating guest co-host who brings to the hour a selection of poetry from his or her personal canon, which, along with the freshest and best from the "new shelves," they read live. 

Most episodes also feature a recorded performance from Voca, the Poetry Center's audio archive of its legendary poetry readings since 1963. SPEEDWAY & SWAN represents a partnership between the Poetry Center, which archives the show in listenable format with an annotated playlist, and KXCI, where the show streams live.   

Since 1983, KXCI 91.3 FM has been committed to connecting Tucson and Southern Arizona to one another and to the world with informative, engaging, and creative community-based radio programming.

Susan Briante’s most recent book The Market Wonders (Ahsahta Press) was a finalist for the National Poetry Series. The Kenyon Review calls it “masterful at every turn.” She is also the author of the poetry collections Pioneers in the Study of Motion and Utopia Minus (an Academy of American Poets Notable Book of 2011), both from Ahsahta Press. Briante has received grants and awards from the Atlantic Monthly, the MacDowell Colony, the Academy of American Poets, the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund and the US-Mexico Fund for Culture. She is an associate professor of creative writing and literature at the University of Arizona.