What Lies Beneath
In 30 years, a seed has had time to grow into a robust tree. That tree outside our cabin is bearing hundreds of future trees. Stories, essays, poems are growing things like this forest. What you present on the page is very much like cottonwood leaves on high branches. It is colorful, reflecting the sun, fluttering in the wind. The secret is that beneath the ground, in the shadows, there is another tree growing. Roots and branches are reflections of each other. However, without the invisible, mysterious lower depths, the tree cannot survive. Neither can your writing. I call this the understory, where the water and the nutrients and the bones are hidden. Together, we will explore all those mysteries of what lies beneath. It takes trust and intuition. And a lot of playing in the dirt. Bring your notebooks and your pens. All genres welcome.
A 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, Urrea is the critically acclaimed and best-selling author of 16 books of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and short stories including The Water Museum, Into the Beautiful North, The Devil’s Highway, and The Hummingbird’s Daughter among many others. Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and American mother, Urrea is most recognized as a border writer, though he says, “I am more interested in bridges, not borders.” Urrea lives with his family in Naperville, IL, where he is a distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.