My work is driven by working-class American portraiture. Emerging at the intersection of personhood and popular culture, my work is concerned with everyday people in a contemporary world. Lyrical in nature, I seek to write poems that can build a congregation from thin air. Guided by the urgency of this historical moment, my work looks to capture a world in transition. In this regard, community-building is a priority in my work beyond the page. Simultaneously a creator and a cultivator, the praxis of my poetry is often developed with the audience of emerging writers I instruct in mind. I write to make sense of a world that is anxious and reticent behind handheld screens. I want my poems to unlock doors.
Benjamin Alfaro is a writer, educator, and organizer from Michigan. He is a 2017 Kresge Arts Fellow and his poems have most recently appeared in TriQuarterly, Southern Indiana Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Duende, and elsewhere. He has been featured on HBO, Yahoo!, VICE, and NPR. His work with InsideOut Literary Arts helped launch the Detroit Youth Poet Laureate program and Louder Than a Bomb: The Michigan Youth Poetry Festival. As an undergraduate student, he founded WayneSLAM on the campus of Wayne State University. He lives in Detroit.