Francisco X. Alarcón

Francisco X. Alarcón is an award-winning poet who writes for both children and adults. Born in Los Angeles, Califonia, he considers himself "bi-national," having spent time as a child in both Mexico and the United States. He expressed this in a poem: "I carry my roots with me all the time/Rolled up I use them as my pillow." Alarcón's poetry was inspired by songs he heard from his grandmother, which he presents for readers in both English and in Spanish.

Alarcón also speaks Nahuatl. Discover how this trilingual poet incorporates his grandmother's Nahuatl language into his works today and hear him read some of his poetry in our interview below.

Video Interviews

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Like many other Mexicans at the time, Francisco Alarcon's grandparents moved to the U.S. following the Mexican Revolution (1910-917). They returned to Mexico after the Big Depression. Alarcon's U.S. born mother and uncles returned to the U.S. in the 40s during the war effort. For Alarcon, who was born in the U.S. but also lived in Guadalajara, Mexico as a child, the border doesn't really exist. Francisco Alarcon is a bi-national, bi-cultural, trilingual poet and educator, speaking English, Spanish, and Nahuatl. His children's books vividly paint pictures of Latino culture, family, fun, and flavor. Alarcón currently directs the Spanish for Native Speakers Program at the University of California, Davis.