Matthew Marroquín is a senior at Buena Vista University, he is a poet, coach, mentor & soon to be an author. Marroquín is also a first generation Salvadoran-American publishing his first book called Guanaco Binge.
Marroquín is going to school for Theatre and Media performance. It is not common for someone to be publishing at the age of Marroquín.
“I always want to write a book I remember in 8th grade. I told my mom I wanted to become an author as I was reading a ton in 7th grade…” said Marroquín
Marroquín continued “…then like my sophomore year we went to the University of Iowa cause my sister was going to college there. It was family time for the first day and there was a world slam Champion poet that was there and I saw him perform. I’m like he’s making it dude like he’s doing it. He is living his life so I pointed to him and turn back to my mom like that’s what I want to do”
Dreamers like Marroquín are what made him explore his field early in his career after his experience visiting the University of Iowa, then he began to write.
“I tried to write one in 8th grade and I left a little note on it in a box. I just found it while cleaning and I opened it up and it has a note saying “fix this is us up when you’re able to” or like when you had the skill to..” said Marroquín
Marroquín continued “… each page has a certain theme and this theme is the story of immigrants and their survival of the Salvadoran Civil War; their survival of making it to America to the very start of being in America. That’s kind of how the story goes and it’s more of my parents how each of them made it. It’s called Guanco Binge.”
Guanco is a term that is used to describe Salvadorans; guanco is a type of llama that is found everywhere in central america and is connected to the people because Salvadorans are everywhere just like llamas.
“If you look at my cover art or anything like that it shows a guanco eating the fleur de Izote with the mountains and the sea in the background showing a place I’ve never even been to because it’s been unsafe for my family is to ever visit.” said Marroquín
From being told stories of a place Marroquín has never seen, he brings his parents stories from pen to paper.
With the beginning of the pandemic it has opened a lot of opportunities for Marroquin to attend Virtual open mics!
“I’ve been going to the virtual open mics which if you really want to you can go to like one or two every single day like easily all around the world. I be going to El Paso on Mondays, I hit up a place and within the Bay Area California on Thursdays. Some days I’m in the Philippines. A lot of times I’m in New York virtually though.” said Marroquín
From Marroquín attending these virtual events he has found a support system and a network that started to see his worth. Until one day he got a message on facebook.
“I got a Facebook message saying can “Hey, can I give you a call?” from a poet friend from Albuquerque, New Mexico and “We are opening up a publishing house and I have a bunch of poets on board right now and I want 10 for my initial big release” this publishing she has called Read or Green books” said Marroquín
Marroquín learned more about himself and his parents through writing this book. A story of survival and a story of immigrants coming into the U.S. After his friend messaged him he found himself taking the opportunity to publish his first book.
After asking his parents on their journey to America. He emailed the drafts of his book to professors for support. After alot of rereads he got the book together and is proud of the product he created.
“It’s cool to have my parents’ story on paper now, in poetry yes; but also something to give down when I have kids and say this is where your grandparents came from. This is their story of survival. For them it’s just how life was.” said Marroquín
Marroquín plans to go to a Master Fine Arts (MFA) program in creative writing in the east coast and to go into action. He hopes to write more books in the future and hopes readers see the story of his parents on each page readers flip.
“If not the first hundred times. It’s really hard to just write a good piece. A lot of people wait for the moment a good piece comes to them and then start writing; no, write those bad pieces too. Trust me some of them turn out better than you think and some of them you use lines from even if you write one good line in a hundred pages at least you have one good line…” said Marroquín
Marroquin Continues “…put the pen to paper, hand to keyboard and just fly.”
To support Marroquín’s debut on his book you can preorder the book now. He plans to have it released by August, but to follow his journey and stay updated follow him on Instagram or Facebook to stay in the loop.