Christopher Soto (b. 1991) is a poet based in Los Angeles, California. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Occidental College. His debut poetry collection, Diaries of a Terrorist, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press on May 3rd, 2022. This debut poetry collection demands the abolition of policing and human caging.
In 2021, Christopher Soto was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. He became a Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Occidental College in Los Angeles.
In 2020, Christopher Soto signed with an agent at Folio Literary. As a lecturer with UCLA’s Honors College, he began teaching interdisciplinary creative writing courses, such as “Poetry in the Age of Mass Incarceration” and “Poetry and Protest Movements.” He also began organizing with the Cops Off Campus movement, to abolish police from university campuses.
In 2019, he moved to Los Angeles and began working with the Ethnic Studies Research Centers at UCLA. He joined the Board of Directors for Lambda Literary and became a CantoMundo Fellow. He also co-led the “Writers for Migrant Justice” campaign with Javier Zamora, Jan-Henry Gray, and Anni Liu. This campaign joined 40+ cities nationally to raise money in order to post bail for detained migrant families.
In 2018, Christopher Soto published Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color (Nightboat Books). This is the first major literary anthology for Queer Poets of Color in the United States. He had edited an online journal, of the same name, with Lambda Literary since 2014.
In 2017, he was awarded “The Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism” by Split This Rock and taught at Columbia University as part of the June Jordan Teaching Corp.
In 2016, he published the chapbook Sad Girl Poems (Sibling Rivalry Press) and co-founded the Undocupoets Campaign with Javier Zamora and Marcelo Hernandez Castillo. The Undocupoets campaign successfully lobbied numerous poetry publishers to remove a proof of citizenship requirement from first-book contests, allowing undocumented poets to participate. He then worked to establish grants to support the work of undocumented writers. Poets & Writers honored Christopher Soto and the Undocupoets with the “Barnes & Nobles Writer for Writers Award.” He also began working with Equal Justice USA, to end the death penalty.
In 2015, Christopher Soto completed his MFA in Poetry at NYU, where he was a Goldwater Hospital Writing Fellow. He interned with Poetry Society of America.