Christopher Soto (b. 1991) is a poet based in Los Angeles, California. He works at UCLA and sits on the Board of Directors for Lambda Literary. He is currently working on a novel about indigo production in El Salvador.
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.
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 2017, he was awarded “The Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism” by Split This Rock and he was invited to teach a “Poetry and Protest Movements” course at Columbia University, as part of the June Jordan Teaching Corp.
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 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 2020, Christopher Soto signed with an agent at Folio Literary. As a lecturer with UCLA’s Honors College, he began teaching a “Poetry and Protest Movements” course. He also began organizing with a national movement to abolish police from university campuses.
Christopher Soto’s poems, reviews, interviews, and articles can be found at The Nation, The Guardian, Los Angeles Review of Books, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Tin House, and more. His work has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Thai.
Christopher Soto was raised, outside of Los Angeles, by a large Salvadoran family. His father’s side of the family is Puerto Rican. He identifies as non-binary and often uses the name “Loma” and “they” pronouns. He grew up in a multicultural punk scene, which is vital to his literary style.