Orlando Carreón was raised in Napa. Deeply moved by his parent’s battle with poverty, Orlando pursued an education aimed at continuing the struggle against poverty and human suffering, from within the classroom. After years as middle school teacher in Napatitlan, he decided to go back to school to earn a Master’s in Applied Linguistics, followed by a Doctorate in Education. His scholarly interests include teaching and researching within a social justice framework. He focuses on how discourses of race, class, gender, language, ideology, identity, and power come together in educational spaces. Orlando’s poems are an expression of place and identity. While Napa Valley is the epicenter of a multibillion-dollar wine industry, it has also created shadows that are too often ignored mainstream narratives. The verses within resemble thirsty grape vines growing on the mountainside, activating its root system in search for water and nutrients. In an act of resilience, roots grow deeper, stronger, adding intensity to the fruit it produces. The poems in this collection are an expression of resistance as these highlight the contradictions experienced in Napa. They were written from its shadows. Informed by a postcolonial notion of place and identity, the poems illustrate a continuous search for roots and nutrients, from within a nexus of transnational, decolonial, xicanx, indigenous, and diasporic movements.
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