Vanessa Angelica Villarreal was born in the Rio Grande Valley borderlands to formerly undocumented Mexican immigrants. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in PBS Newshour, Ploughshares Blog, Poor Claudia, Waxwing, The Wanderer, DIAGRAM, The Feminist Wire, The Poetry Foundation Harriet Blog, and elsewhere. She has served as an editor for the Bettering American Poetry project. She is currently a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at USC, and is also a CantoMundo Fellow. Her book, Beast Meridian, is forthcoming from Noemi Press in early 2017. She currently eats tacos with her family in Los Angeles, CA, but her forever hometown is Houston, Texas.