José Orduña was born in Córdoba, Veracruz, and immigrated to Chicago when he was two years old. His work explores the ways power has determined his and others' existence as racialized subjects of the United States. His first book, The Weight of Shadows: A Memoir of Immigration and Displacement was published in 2016 by Beacon Press. He earned his M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction at the University Iowa Writers’ Workshop.