Abigail Carl-Klassen is a poet, writer, educator, translator and activist. Raised in rural West Texas, she relocated to the U.S.-Mexico border where she worked for many years in El Paso in community development and public education. Her chapbook, Shelter Management, is inspired by these experiences and is now available for purchase from dancing girl press.
She has done ethnopoetic work with migrant workers, Old Colony Mennonite communities in Mexico and Texas, social workers, homeless communities, immigrant communities along the U.S.-Mexico border, and most recently, with Central American migrants and asylum seekers in Mexico.
Her work has appeared in ZYZZYVA, Catapult, Willow Springs, Cimarron Review, Guernica, Aster(ix), Kweli, Matter, Huizache, and Post Road, among others, and is anthologized in IMANIMAN: Poets Writing in the Anzaldúan Borderlands (Aunt Lute), New Border Voices (Texas A&M University Press) Goodbye Mexico: Poems of Remembrance (Texas Review Press) and Outrage: A Protest Anthology for Injustice in a 9/11 World (Slough Press) among others.
She was shortlisted for the Society for Humanistic Anthropology’s 2016 Ethnographic Poetry Prize and won the Manitoba Magazine Publisher’s Association Award for Best Suite of Poems. She earned an MFA from the University of Texas El Paso’s Bilingual Creative Writing Program and taught at El Paso Community College and the University of Texas El Paso.
Nomadic for a season, she recently returned from teaching in Latin America and is completing a full length ethnographic poetry collection. You can read her most current work at Poets Reading the News where she is a staff writer.