October 20, 2015
Texas Monthly’s October 2015 list of 10 Writers to Watch (and Read) includes St. Mary’s University alumnus Ito Romo (B.A.’83, M.A. ’93), now an Associate Professor of English and Communication Studies at the University.
Romo, who was born in Laredo and often writes with the Texas-Mexico border as his backdrop, was included on the list helping to create what the magazine called a “Texas literary boom.” These 10 newer writers are specifically writing about Texas in a diverse and eclectic way, the magazine noted.
Romo received widespread critical praise for his 2013 collection of short stories that take place along the borderlands, titled The Border is Burning.
“I am honored to be included among such an amazing group of Texas writers, but it is especially beautiful to see Mexican American writers from the border (two of us) and other minority writers, including Stephen Graham Jones of the Blackfoot Nation, also on the list,” Romo said.
“Even more importantly, I am truly happy that being included in such a list will help to call attention to the real problems of access to good education, to decent healthcare, and to basic human rights of not only the people who actually live along the border,” he said, “but also all people who live on the other side of the borders we’ve created to shield us from our responsibilities of caring for each other as human beings.”
“Many years ago, my professors at StMU inspired me to find what I’m good at and to use it to help others; I hope that I inspire my StMU students to do the same.”
His upcoming projects include a novel called Filth Eaters, the story of mestizo vampires that begins in the 1860s in Granada, moves through Mexico City during the times of Carlota and Maximilian, and ends in New York City 200 years later, when part of Manhattan is already covered with water from rising tides caused by global warming.
He’s also guest editing The New Chican@s, the fall (November) issue of the journal Arcadia. It’s due out, in print and online, this November.