I grew up in a farmworking family.
No, that’s not accurate—it’s incomplete.
I grew up in a family of farmworking women.
The hands of our sisters, tías, cousins, mothers,
and abuelas have worked the fields, worked to feed us,
worked to raise us, worked to protect and provide for us.
I love my mom but the truth is that my sisters raised me.
Farmwork would not survive without women,
nor would farmworker families.
This fall, in its 26th issue, Amherst College’s award-winning literary magazine The Common will publish a special portfolio of writing and art from the farmworker and farm laborer community: the migrant, seasonal, and often immigrant laborers who make up much of the US agricultural workforce.
Co-edited by Miguel M. Morales, the portfolio includes work by twenty-seven contributors with roots in this community, most of whom started work in the fields as children. It reflects their diverse experiences—long hours and low pay, protests and picket lines, the fierce resilience of their families, the warmth of their communities, and the satisfaction of doing hard work will, among loved ones.
The Common is a print and online literary journal with a mission to deepen our individual and collective sense of place: to reach from there to here. Since its debut in 2011, The Common has published nearly 1900 emerging and established authors from 53 countries, developed unique workshops and educational programs, and built a local and global community of writers and readers of all ages, all from our office in Frost Library.
On November 9th and 10th, as a part of this mission, we will host two events on the Amherst College campus celebrating our Issue 26 farmworker portfolio and exploring the relationship between its questions of land, migration, and belonging and our home here in Western Massachusetts. Contributors Nora Rodriguez Camagna and Julián David Bañuelos, as well as portfolio co-editor Miguel M. Morales, will be guests at both events.
This fall, half of The Common’s new issue will be dedicated to a portfolio of writing and art from the farmworker community: over a hundred pages filled with the stories, essays, poems, and artwork of immigrant agricultural workers. The portfolio, co-edited by Miguel M. Morales, highlights the work of twenty-seven contributors with roots in this community.
An online portfolio will also accompany the print issue, giving more space for these important perspectives. This feature is the first of several that will publish throughout the fall. Click the FARMWORKER tag at the bottom of the page to read more, as pieces are added.
Poetry Feature: Poems from the Immigrant Farmworker Community