Dreaming Out Loud: Voices of Undocumented Students

PEN America has hosted these writing workshops since 2016. Thanks to support from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and a Mayor’s Cultural Impact Grant from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the program was significantly expanded in the first half of 2019. The writing of participants in the most recent workshops are now collected in the new anthology, Dreaming Out Loud: Voices of Undocumented Students.

DREAMers. There are perhaps few other groups we hear so much about yet hear so little from. Dreaming Out Loud changes that. The 58 personal essays, short stories, and poems here give us insight in to the challenges, hopes, and, yes, dreams, of young people trying to make sense of the puzzle of their lives, their identity, their future. There are deeply personal reflections on the journey to a new country and poignant recollections of the loved ones, languages, and cultures they left behind. We see their fears and anxieties alongside their joys and triumphs. We see moments of sadness alongside flourishes of wit and vivacity. And throughout, we see strength and resolve, and the kind of dignity that should make every American honored to call them one of us.

This anthology includes an introduction by DREAMing Out Loud director and co-founder, award-winning novelist and essayist Álvaro Enrigue, who, along with writers Charlie Vázquez and Lisa Ko, taught and mentored the students.

All author names have been published with the consent of the authors. Some names have been changed.