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Desert View High School senior wins Tucson Festival of Books poetry contest

Ariel Salcido
Posted at 6:14 AM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 13:53:38-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — One young author is expected to get some recognition after winning the Tucson Festival of Books' poetry contest.

Ariel Salcido is a senior at Desert View High School and says she was assigned to write a poem for class back in August 2020. Title, "Where I'm From," the goal was to share her story.

"I just kind of started thinking of key memories as a kid, like watching movies with my dad and driving to church on Sundays. Like little memories that contributed to who I am now," said Ariel.

Ariel Salcido
Ariel Salcido is a senior at Desert View High School and says she was assigned to write a poem for class back in August 2020. Title, "Where I'm From," the goal was to share her story.

The high school senior says she was assigned to submit the poem to a contest and chose the Tucson Festival of Books. She says it was because the event is the one she was most familiar with and felt close to home.

After her submission in December 2020, she found out she won the contest. It was a feeling she says was unreal. Ariel says she is expected to receive recognition at the Tucson Festival of Books virtual event, happening March 6th and 7th.

As for the message she hopes to share in her poem, Ariel says, ""I would hope that they would kind of get an understanding of the diversity of my upbringing...I was raised Mexican-American. I would hope that they would see the two parts I have in there, like of my American upbringing and my Mexican upbringing and showing how they correlate in making me."

You can read her poem, "Where I'm From," below:

I am from nanas 2005 beige Jeep Liberty

The same one that managed to fit six of us on Sunday rides to church

I am from the brown and salmon colored house at the end of the cul de sac

The one that had the fattest tree in the front that we used to climb and swing from as kids

I am from the burning scent of Fabuloso and Downy softener

From baking soda used for everything from cooking to brushing our teeth

I am from cactus overspread across the vast Arizona desert

I am from the sound of windchimes that hang on nana's porch and play peaceful melodies throughout our days

From saguaros and chollas, mesquites and ocotillos, chuparosas and desert primroses

From listening to Christmas carols while making tamales with family

From having to pick out cactus spines from our ankles and legs after playing outside

From Piggy and Sandy Bee, the nicknames given to us before we even knew our real names

I am from the smell of cinnamon tea boiling on the stove

From the odious scent of frijoles overwhelming the whole house

I am from naturally loud voices and chismosas

From “en esta casa, no” and “sana sana colita de rana”

I am from petty arguments at family nights and movie marathons with dad

From Westmoreland to Acadia

I am from a small, dreary city that sits too south for anyone to know but just north enough to have the opportunities my family didn't. I am Mexican, I am American. I am from Arizona
Ariel Salcido