My Story

GardenWall Publications was founded in 2006 by Allena Tapia (Tapia: “an adobe, patio or garden wall”). 

Communications consultant, writer, editor Allena Tapia

Allena Tapia is a freelance writer, editor, mother and perpetual student. She was born and raised in 1980s Detroit. From an early age she watched her mother climb out of the poverty of the Brightmoor barrio through books and education. By elementary school, Allena was picking up the novels assigned in her mother’s college classroom, and can still be completely lost in a book—much to the annoyance of her husband and two children.

Allena developed a strong loyalty to Michigan State University when her family moved to the Lansing, Michigan area in order for her mother to complete her education. In high school, Allena discovered that other languages provided the same succor, and she eagerly took up Spanish. She eventually made her way to Michigan State University herself, majoring in English with cognate minors in Spanish and Education. She recalls entire days lost in the third floor stacks at MSU’s library, and curious glances from clerks who would process out 20 books at a time for her.

She began her word-oriented career editing and writing full time for both Michigan State and the local community college, but holds that the University classroom spoiled her. She much prefers to work on her own circadian rhythms, and pursue her own interests. In addition, volunteer work and community groups are a large part of her life and time, as are her two children. She also enjoys domestic road trips and travel to her husband’s family ranch in middle Mexico. Because of these, and other reasons, she has found her calling in freelance communications.

She is the managing editor of a regional, bilingual social-justice oriented magazine, and has held contracts with the NYT- owned About.com, EBSCO, Thompson-Gale and M.E. Sharpe. Articles and book reviews have been printed in regional and national glossies, and much of her work focuses on Latino issues and culture.

In addition to her husband and two kids, her current menagerie includes three cats, two dogs, and a bunny in a hundred-year old house in a historic small town along the banks of the Red Cedar outside of Lansing, Michigan.

Allena regards words, linguistics, literature and language study as the “stuff of life.” Recommended reading includes “Love in the Time of Cholera” and Verbatim magazine. Her future includes several MOOC courses, getting her children through college (MSU? UM?), owning a horse, visiting the Alhambra in Spain, and someday retiring to Mexico with her beloved husband.