Wendy Call (she/her) wrote the award-winning nonfiction book No Word for Welcome, co-edited Telling True Stories and Best Literary Translations, and translated three collections of trilingual poetry by Indigenous Mexican women. She lives on Duwamish land (Southeast Seattle) and Mixtec/Zapotec land (Oaxaca City) and teaches in the Rainier Writing Workshop.

2024 Jack Straw Alumni Poetry Series:

How to Be a Good Savage and Other Poems, by Mikeas Sánchez, co-translated from Spanish and Zoque by Wendy Call and Shook, includes selections from six books by the only woman to have published a book of poetry in Zoque. Called a “groundbreaking and deeply passionate poetry collection that celebrates language and feminine power” by Library Journal, this trilingual book received a Booklist starred review and glowing coverage in the New York Times Book Review.

How to Be a Good Savage

My grandfather Simón wanted to be a good savage,

he learned Spanish,

and all the saints’ names.

He danced before the altar

and was baptized with a smile.

My grandfather had the force of Red Thunder

and his nagual was a tiger.

My grandfather was a poet

who healed with words.

But he wanted to be a good savage,

learned to eat with a spoon,

and the Nhkirawa’s electric lamps impressed him.

My grandfather was a powerful shaman

who spoke the gods’ language.

He wanted to be a good savage,

but he never quite learned how.

Artist Support Program 2011 (with Irma Pineda): A trilingual (Zapotec-Spanish-English) audio collection of poems.

2008 Writers Program


Sound Clips
  • Jack Straw Artist Irma Pineda in Studio 2
    Irma Pineda and Wendy Call - The Guest
  • Wendy Call
    Foreground the Story – Wendy Call