The Death of a Migrant Worker




Gil Arzola

« Rattle Chapbook Prize Winner »

Gil Arzola’s father was a migrant worker raised in Bustamante, Mexico, who crossed like so many others when he was fifteen. His mother was born and raised in Robstown, Texas, to a cobbler father and a mother who died when she was eleven. Together they found their way to Northwest Indiana and a migrant camp, working their way north in the back of trucks and old cars. One day they stopped. And stayed. The poems are drawn from Gil’s memory, not necessarily the most important days but the ordinary days where we spend most of our lives. They are about people like so many others who carve out lives without applause and hope to leave their children a better life. The Death of a Migrant Worker is a gift and monument of words to Gil’s parents. It is a way of saying “these people passed through this way, and here’s what they did.”

Sample Poems

• “The Death of a Migrant Worker” in Rattle (online)
• “Childhood Homes” in Rattle (online)

Other Poems by Gil Arzola

• “Home from the War” in Tipton Poetry Journal


About the Author

Gil Arzola’s first book of poetry, Prayers of Little Consequence, was published in 2019 by Passager, who named him their Poet of the Year. His story “Losers Walk” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2018, and other work has appeared in DashPalabraWhetstoneThe Tipton ReviewThe Elysian ReviewCrosslimb, and Slab, among others.





Family photographs provided by the author
ISBN: 978-1-931307-48-2
Cover price: $6.00
Chapbook: 32 pages
Size: 6″ x 9″