Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor

Emmy Pérez

Second Advisor

José A. Rodríguez

Third Advisor

Dr. Cathryn Merla Watston


This project is a collection of poems based on my experiences working in the retail industry along the Texas/Mexico border for over 15 years. While many people take for granted their shopping trips, for those on the inside it is a very different reality. The poems included in this project are grouped into sections that focus on aspects of retail or are inspired by it, from the seemingly insignificant, like encounters with strangers, to more profound subjects like racism, identity, immigration, consumerism, and other social issues. The sections also follow Gloria E. Anzaldúas path of conocimento, a journey from estrangement to awareness and beyond. The setting is the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, the borderlands, which comes through in occasional code switching and in context that is unique to the area.


Copyright 2018 César Leonardo De León. All Rights Reserved.