Pulitzer Prize Winner Speaks to Students for Writer’s Week

Jose Antonio Vargas spoke about his experiences as a writer and answered students’ questions during first through fourth period today, February 28.

Vargas, whose presentation was called “Why I Write,” described his experience as a journalist and his transition into becoming a writer of longer essays and memoirs. Vargas related his history of being an undocumented immigrant in the United States to the liberating feeling of writing.

“I don’t feel like I’m a minority, I feel like I’m a majority of one,” Vargas said. “I don’t come to you as the gay Jose, or the Filipino Jose, or the undocumented Jose … I come to you as one.”

Vargas also answered questions from the audience. Many of these questions pertained to Vargas’ writing methods and strategies for becoming a good writer. Vargas shared his philosophy in learning to write about the world around him, as well as his own life experiences.

“Imagine arranging flowers in a vase,” Vargas said. “Imagine this idea: that the way [the writing] is structured means something. Writing is capturing something or someone in a moment in time. That’s why people write journals.”

[Video by Anthony Bello]