For five years Francisco Cantú was a patrol agent on the US–Mexico border, a deadly crossroads for human trafficking and drug smuggling. Hailed by Vulture as among the most exciting releases for 2018, Francisco’s memoir, The Line Becomes a River, details how he quit his job, then saw a fuller picture emerge after an undocumented friend was detained. A Fulbright scholar whose work has appeared on This American Life and in n+1, Francisco speaks to Wheeler Centre Director Michael Williams about “the ways which we normalise violence and dehumanise migrants as individuals and as a society.”

Francisco Cantú (International)

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Francisco Cantú served as an agent for the United States Border Patrol from 2008 to 2012, working in the deserts of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. A former Fulbright fellow, he is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and a 2017 Whiting Award. His writing and translations have been featured in Best American Essays, Harper's, n+1, Orion, and Guernica, as well as on This American Life. He lives in Tucson.

Michael Williams (Australian)

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Michael Williams is the director of the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas in Melbourne. For 2015-2016 he hosted Blueprint for Living on RN, and he remains a regular guest on ABC radio and TV. Michael has also worked as a breakfast presenter for Melbourne’s 3RRR, as a member of the Australia Council’s Literature Board, in publishing and has written extensively for publications including The Guardian Australia, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian.