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)
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)
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.