Author Mike Soto is from two different worlds. Born to Mexican immigrants, he grew up in the Mount Auburn neighborhood of East Dallas but spent several summers in Michoacán.
He weaved those experiences into his first full-length poetry collection, “A Grave is Given Supper,” set to be released by Deep Vellum Publishing on Tuesday, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The book, written in free verse, explores the Mexican drug war by following two protagonists at a fictional border town. Inspired by the cult film “El Topo,” Soto describes insects, femicide and the border wall in mystical terms.
Los Angeles-based artist Daniel Gonzalez brings the collection to life through illustrations scattered throughout the book.
“Writing anything about the drug war in Mexico, you get violence and drug lords, but very often, the saddest part for me is feeling that so many talented, capable individuals — their youth, their lives — get tamped down,” Soto told the Morning News.
The 42-year-old author graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1996 and earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of North Texas. He also has a Master of Fine Arts from Sarah Lawrence College in New York.
He writes whenever he can while working at his family’s bakery, La Nueva, in Pleasant Grove.
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