Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo was named a 2012 Los Angeles Central Library ALOUD Newer Poet and the 2013 Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange poetry winner. Her poetry manuscript, Built with Safe Spaces, is inspired by her grandmother, Los Angeles, and the Arizona borderlands. In August 2011 she volunteered as a desert aid worker with the Tucson-based humanitarian organization, No More Deaths, which informed many of her borderland poems.
In Los Angeles, she is the creator and curator of the quarterly reading series HITCHED and a co-founding member of the literary organization, Women Who Submit. WWS uses social media and community events to empower women authors to submit work for publication in order to help close the gap between male and female representation in mainstream publishing made apparent by the VIDA count.
She has work published in The Acentos Review, American Poetry Review, CALYX, The James Franco Review, The Los Angeles Review, Lumen Magazine, Lunch Ticket, Malpais Review, and The Nervous Breakdown among others. Her work has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Award, and her poem, “The Boys of Summer,” was named one of the Best Poems of 2014 by La Bloga. A short dramatization of her poem, “Our Lady of the Water Gallons,” directed by Hollywood director and Chicano activist, Jesús Salvador Treviño, can be viewed at latinopia.com.
She is a former Ragdale Foundation writer-in-residence, was the nonfiction editor for Issue 5 of The James Franco Review, and periodically teaches a field trip course entitled Literary Communities of Los Angeles at Antioch University of Los Angeles where she received her MFA in Creative Writing in Spring 2009.
Xochitl-Julisa is a first generation Chicana born and raised in San Gabriel, California and currently lives in the shadows of Dodger Stadium in historic Solano Canyon. She spends her nights listening for the ghosts and coyotes of Chavez Ravine and her days maneuvering the 110 freeway to teach drama and English to high school students in Arcadia, CA.