In conjunction with the current exhibition, La Frontera, please join HCCC for a reading of works by two Houston writers with long careers in U.S.-Mexico border security and immigration advocacy. Passages from The Shadow Catcher: A U.S. Agent Infiltrates Mexico’s Deadly Crime Cartels, by Hipolito Acosta, and Our Lost Border: Essays on Life amid the Narco-Violence, by Sarah Cortez, will be presented and discussed by the authors. Jenny Lynn Weitz, HCCC Marketing Coordinator, will read a Spanish translation of the writings.
Hipolito Acosta retired as the district director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service in Houston, Texas, following a 30-year career. He served as a border patrol agent, special agent, and supervisory special agent and spent 13 years assigned to U.S. foreign diplomatic missions. He is the recipient of the Newton-Azrak Award, the highest award given by the U.S. Border Patrol for heroism and bravery in the line of duty. He is the author of The Shadow Catcher: A U.S. Agent Infiltrates Mexico’s Deadly Crime Cartels. In the book, Acosta takes readers inside the case he oversaw, which resulted in over 50 children being intercepted before ever reaching the U.S. border. Living under an assumed identity and risking his life were all in a day’s work for Agent Acosta. He worked regularly in high-stakes undercover operations infiltrating Mexico’s murderous immigrant smuggling rings and drug cartels. Acosta has recently been interviewed as an expert about the immigration crisis on several radio stations, as well as in the Houston Chronicle and the El Paso Times.
Sarah Cortez, an award-winning member of the Texas Institute of Letters, has numerous poems, essays and short stories anthologized in the U.S. and in Europe. Winner of the PEN Texas Literary Award in poetry, her debut poetry collection is entitled How to Undress a Cop. Her second book of poetry, Cold Blue Steel, reveals the life of an urban street cop. Her latest book is Our Lost Border: Essays on Life amid the Narco-Violence, a recent winner of a Southwest Book Award from the Border Region Librarians Association and an International Latino Book Award for Focused Nonfiction (Bilingual) . Her memoir, Walking Home: Growing Up Hispanic in Houston, was published in 2012 by Texas Review Press. She lives, works, polices, and runs a thriving freelance editing business in Houston, Texas, where she is Houston’s most popular writing teacher. Her next anthology, Goodbye, Mexico: Poems of Remembrance, will celebrate the Mexico of the late 20th century.
Note: Because readings and essays address the U.S. – Mexico border violence, this event is intended for a mature audience.
Above: Elizabeth Rustrian, “Cruce de Armas” (detail), 2013. Necklace. Photo by Logan Beck.