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july, 2023

11jultueRivermouth A CHRONICLE OF LANGUAGE, FAITH, AND MIGRATION7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Event Type :Book Presentation

Event Details

Jenny Apperti

Join us for the Book Launch Party of Rivermouth: A CHRONICLE OF LANGUAGE, FAITH, AND MIGRATION with Author Alejandra Oliva in conversation with Jenni Apperti. In this powerful and deeply felt polemic memoir, Alejandra Oliva, a Mexican-American translator and immigrant justice activist, offers a chronological document of her experience interpreting at the US-Mexico border, and of the people she has encountered along the way.

About the book

In Rivermouth, Oliva focuses on the physical spaces that make up different phases of immigration and looks at how language and opportunity move through each of them; from the river as the waterway that separates the US and Mexico, to the table as the place over which Oliva prepares asylum seekers for their Credible Fear Interviews, and finally, to the wall as the behemoth imposition that runs along America’s southernmost border.

With lush prose and perceptive insight, Oliva encourages readers to approach the painful questions that this crisis poses with equal parts critique and compassion. By which metrics are we measuring who “deserves” American citizenship? What is the point of humanitarian systems that distribute aid conditionally? What do we owe to our most disenfranchised?

About the author

Alejandra Oliva is an essayist, translator, immigrant justice advocate, and embroiderer. She is a recipient of the 2022 Creative Nonfiction Whiting Grant. Her writing has been included in Best American Travel Writing 2020, was nominated for a Pushcart prize, and was honored with an Aspen Summer Words Emerging Writers Fellowship. She was the Franke Fellow at the Yale Whitney Humanities Center in 2022.

About Jenni Apperti (Director, SMU Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center and Deputy Director, SMU John G. Tower Center)

Born in Texas and raised in Mexico, Jennifer Apperti has been in her present roles since October 2022, where she oversees the teams and operations of both Centers. Prior to that, she was the Manager of the SMU Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center, where she was in charge of the dayto-day operations of the Center since 2016. She was responsible for managing the Center’s research projects and creating events and programming. Previously, she worked in public policy for 10 years as a Mexican Diplomat. She was the Cultural and Economic Attaché at the Consulate of Mexico in Dallas from 2011-2016, where she brought Wings of the City, the first ever Mexican public art exhibition brought to both Dallas and Fort Worth.


“A graceful meditation on the unresolved traumas of life in a land where one is often not welcome . . . Evenhandedly and without sentimentality, Oliva urges that we can stand to be both more understanding and more generous.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Rivermouth is a great gift in a time when migrants are demonized on the shores and borders of wealthy western countries . . . Alejandra Oliva has not only written a poetic, gripping, and magnificent book, she is there, on the border, assisting the migrants in their attempts to escape hunger, deadly gangs, and dysfunctional, governments.”
—Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, author of “Not A Nation of Immigrants”

The Undocumented Americans meets Tell Me How It Ends in this chronicle of translation, storytelling, and borders as understood through the United States’ “immigration crisis”



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