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Zócalo Public Square

The 14th Annual Zócalo Book Prize Event

The 14th Annual Zócalo Book Prize Event

Moderated by Natalia Molina, American Historian and 2020 MacArthur Fellow

Is “Latino” a race or an ethnicity? Is it European or American? Is it a source of strength or of subjugation? And does it bring people together—around shared histories of migration and resilience—or is it born from racial ideas about “the other,” borders, and national identity? Journalist and novelist Héctor Tobar is a professor of English and Chicano/Latino studies at UC Irvine, a native Angeleno, and the son of Guatemalan immigrants. He is the winner of the 2024 Zócalo Public Square Book Prize for Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meanings and Myths of “Latino,” which wrestles with these questions and many more around identity, history, and culture. Tobar visits Zócalo to discuss the epic journey the book took him on—across the country, to Guatemala, and back again—and the epic American journeys that define the “Latino” experience.

Zócalo Public Square is proud to award the 2024 Zócalo Poetry Prize to Melanie Almeder for her poem “Coyote Hour.”

For the first time in Book Prize history, Zócalo will host Zócalo Reads: a reading hour led by 2024 Zócalo Book Prize winner Héctor Tobar, at 6 PM, at the Downtown LA Proper. The first 20 attendees will receive a free copy of Our Migrant Souls. Space for Zócalo Reads is extremely limited; register for free on Eventbrite. You do not need to attend Zócalo Reads to attend the Book Prize Event.

Zócalo invites our in-person audience to continue the conversation with our speakers and each other at a post-event reception with complimentary small bites and beverages. Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore will sell copies of Tobar’s book during the reception.

The 2024 Zócalo Book and Poetry Prizes are generously sponsored by Tim Disney.

Zócalo Public Square values audience safety. During events at ASU California Center, as bag searches are not permitted, only clear bags (maximum size 12” x 6” x 12”) and small clutches (maximum size 8 ½” x 5 ½”) are allowed in the venue. Zócalo may be able to provide a limited number of clear bags to help accommodate guests. Questions? Ask us at [email protected].

The ASU California Center is inclusive and accessible for all. A platform wheelchair lift is available at our main entrance via Broadway (ground level). Upon checking in for the event, please inform Zócalo staff if you need assistance, or contact [email protected] for additional information.