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HOUSTON, Texas (KIAH) Jose Olivarez is a Mexican American Poet from Chicago. He writes about his culture, family, friends, and everyday living. He says the poems choose him. They gather the right metaphors and similes; the product is an ode to his life.

“I started writing poetry and reading poetry, that is when I knew other realities were possible.” 

Jose Olivarez, Poet

His book “Citizen Illegal” highlights the nuances of being both Mexican and American. For Selena Garcia, an undocumented woman living in a mixed-status family his poetry gives her hope.

“The First poem that I read which was Citizen illegal it was kind of bringing me to the moment 45 was president and we were living in a life of uncertainty, fear, and separation and we often talk about the walls being built at the border, but we don’t talk about the walls being built at home.” 

Selena Garcia, Houston Resident

Olivarez says “hope” is a daily practice and it can come from anywhere and anything. 

“If my poetry is a part of that process of making a better world than that’s everything that I could dream of.”

Jose Olivarez, Poet