The oldest child of an immigrant Mexican family, Vickie Vértiz was born and raised in Bell Gardens, a city in southeast Los Angeles County. With over 25 years of experience in social justice, writing, and education, Vértiz is an alumna of the Woodrow Wilson and Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellowships.
Her writing is featured in the New York Times Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, Huizache, Nepantla, the Los Angeles Review of Books, KCET Departures and Artbound, and the anthologies: Open the Door ( McSweeney’s and the Poetry Foundation), and The Coiled Serpent ( Tia Chucha Press), among many others.
Vértiz’s first full collection of poetry, Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut, published in the Camino del Sol Series at The University of Arizona Press, won a 2018 PEN America literary prize. She has been a resident or fellow at Bread Loaf Environmental Writers Conference, Macondo, CantoMundo, VONA, Vermont College of Fine Arts, and the Community of Writers. Her work was chosen in 2016 by Natalie Diaz for the University of Arizona Poetry Center Summer Residency Program.
Vickie has taught creative writing and given craft talks since 2008 at the Claremont Graduate University, 826 Valencia, the Center Theater Group, and her alma maters, Williams College, Bell Gardens High School, and UC-Riverside, where she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in 2015. Vickie also holds a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from UT-Austin.
Vickie is a proud member of Colectivo Miresa, a feminist cooperative speaker’s bureau. Her first poetry collection, Swallows, is available from Finishing Line Press. She teaches creative writing, writing for Chicanx Studies, writing for Gender Studies, summer bridge writing for EOP students, and Composition at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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