Oklahoma State University-Stillwater

Introducing Janine Joseph, a talented poet who writes of being undocumented

Introducing Janine Joseph, a talented poet who writes of being undocumented

"Whether a child actress or an undocumented immigrant, I had always lived more than one life at once," Janine Joseph explains. From a childhood in TV commercials in the Philippines, she came to California with her parents on tourist visas in 1991, and the family stayed — overstayed, although she didn't realize it — settling first in Riverside and then in Arizona.

Those events shaped her first book of poems, "Driving Without a License" (Alice James Books: 100 pp., $15.95 paper). The young poet discovered that she was undocumented only when colleges refused her financial aid....

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