Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor

Emmy Pérez

Second Advisor

Dr. Jean Braithwaite

Third Advisor

Dr. David Bowles


This collection of poetry and photography is a practice in creating a multimodal work that gives equal weight to each medium. These are presented as three sections, Mictlān, Kingdom of the Sun, and Old 83; for the purpose of this manuscript, they are in reverse chronological order. The first two sections use the trials of Mictlān as a narrative throughline to explore language, displacement, and the loss and mourning of indigenous identity. These pieces are a criticism against the systemic issues and institutional violence that contribute to the ongoing disenfranchisement of borderlands communities and people. The third section is more grounded in my lived experience as a Latine youth, and my perspective of the Rio Grande Valley. This manuscript does not end here, it goes beyond the completion of the MFA, and is my contribution to the conversations surrounding those who identify as Latine/Xicanx but feel uprooted and are in search of home.


Copyright 2023 Joaquin Castillo Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Available for download on Friday, July 25, 2025