Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo headshot

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is a poet, essayist, translator, and immigration advocate. He is the author of Cenzontle (BOA Editions, 2018) a collection mapping a parallel between the landscape of the border and the landscape of sexuality through surreal and deeply imagistic poems, which was chosen by Brenda Shaughnessy as the winner of the 2017 A. Poulin, Jr. prize. His first chapbook, Dulce (Northwestern University, 2018), was chosen by Chris Abani, Ed Roberson, and Matthew Shenodaas the winner of the Drinking Gourd Poetry Prize. His memoir, Children of the Land (Harper Collins, 2020) explores the ideas of separation from deportation, trauma, and mobility between borders. He is a founding member of the Undocupoets campaign which successfully eliminated citizenship requirements from all major first poetry book prizes in the country and was recognized with the Barnes and Noble “Writers for Writers” award from Poets & Writers Magazine.


because the bird flew before
there was a word
for flight
years from now
there will be a name
for what you and I are doing

I licked the mango of the sun
you blew out the flame from a match

the night was heavier
than the light it hushed
the pockets of unsteady light
the bone––
the seed
inside the bone––

the echo
and its echo
and its shape

Hojas de roble folded
into dolls kneeling in prayer
call it wound
call it beginning
the bird’s beak twisted
into a small circle of awe

you called it cutting apart

I called it song

From The Paris American



Seminar with Janine Joseph | October 16, 2018

Reading with Janine Joseph | October 16, 2018