Isolation and Intimacy in the Sonoran Desert: A Migrant’s Account

Lacey Schauwecker


There are many ways to chart the geography of the Sonoran Desert and its ensuing border crisis. In this essay, I consider the value and shortcomings of migrant death maps before appealing to Javier Zamora’s poetry as a more ecological literary example. While witnessing violence against humans in Southern Arizona remains important to exposing and challenging government policy, I contend that accurately navigating this landscape requires attention to how it both isolates beings, and also puts them into intimate relation with one another. The more one learns about the desert, the more one recognizes it as a home and community, not simply a mass grave.


desert; migration; border crisis; poetry; ecology; geography

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