Baca passionately explores the troubled years of his youth, from which he emerged with heightened awareness of his ethnic identify as a Chicano, his role as a witness for the misunderstood tribal life of the barrio, and his redemptive vocation as a poet.
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Jimmy Santiago Baca was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1952. His parents abandoned him at the age of two, and he lived with his grandmother for several years before being placed in an orphanage. A runaway at age thirteen, Baca was sentenced to five years in a maximum security prison at the age of twenty-one for drug offenses. It was in prison that he learned to read and write and began to compose poetry. His book Martin & Meditations on the South Valley, a pair of long narrative poems, won an American Book Award in 1988. In addition to his poetry collections and stories, Baca wrote the screenplay for the movie Bound by Honor, which was released by Hollywood Pictures in 1993.From Publishers Weekly:
The story revealed in these mid-life recollections by Chicano poet Baca is absorbing: an orphan child in a New Mexican city or town name not given/MM barrio, poorly schooled, immersed in drugs and petty crime, he only discovered the power of language as a convict, on reading Neruda and Paz: "Their language was the magic that could liberate me from myself, transform me into another person, transport me to other places far away." This volume is less an autobiography than a romantic paean, taking form as a series of essays, to the redemptive, ecstatic capabilities of poetry. Baca sees his vocation in transcendental terms: "I became one with the air and sky, the dirt and the iron and the concrete"; he regards himself as a voice for the poor and oppressed in America. As a self-ordained spokesperson for Chicanos, he is at his best when evoking barrio culture: his stately grandmother, the village cantinas and the quiet solidarity of Mexican workers. The book finally disappoints, however; too many reflections are self-indulgent, gratuitously profane, incoherent or simply lost in torturous metaphors.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Red Crane Books, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # INGM9780890135150
Book Description Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe, 2008. Softcover. Book Condition: New. Red Crane Art Series. 169 pages. Softcover. New book. ESSAYS. "The essays are permeated with Baca's intensely lyrical sense of the empowerment of literacy and language." - Library Journal "This is a book about connection, forged by a poetic imagination in a language that sometimes soars. Highly recommended." - Multiultural Review (Key Words: Jimmy Santiago Baca, Poets, Essays). book. Bookseller Inventory # 78623X2
Book Description Museum of New Mexico Press, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0890135150
Book Description Red Crane Books, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. reprint edition. 168 pages. 8.50x5.00x0.50 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 0890135150
Book Description Red Crane Books, 2008. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110890135150