There is always a smile on her face and a look of joy. She always searches for life stories that she can express in her poetry, and always seeks to claim justice for those in need. Her high ideals were not built overnight; she had to learn about the historical context of people’s problems, to study and discern, and to develop an intuition into the human condition. Those ideals took shape in her heart, and she is always remembered for her helping hand.
Itzel Yarger-Zagal was born in the Mexican town of Tepetlixpa. In 2013, after some years spent studying and working elsewhere, she arrived in Anchorage. In this city of immigrants, she became aware of blended identities. She decided to portray them through her poetry.
This year, the Rasmuson Foundation awarded her with a Literary Project Award, a fellowship supporting the artistic community of Alaska. For its 2017 grants, the Foundation received 450 applications from artists in different fields.
A national panel of renowned and experienced artists reviewed each project. Only 34 applicants were recognized for their effort. Itzel Yarger-Zagal will use her fellowship to write a bilingual book of poems on immigration experiences in Alaska.