In a Whitmanesque voice that aims toward American universals, while remaining grounded in his Chicano ancestry, Jimmy Santiago Baca explores the cycles of the seasons and the cycles of life in beautiful and accessible poems.
In Spring Poems Along the Rio Grande, Jimmy Santiago Baca continues his daily pilgrimage through the meadows, riverbanks, and bosques of the Rio Grande where winter dies, spring explodes, and inextricable links between the human spirit and the natural world are revealed--"the river and I see through each other's skins / behind the eyes into the tunnels of water-bone and rushing marrow." These poems expand upon those in Baca's recent Winter Poems Along the Rio Grande -- his visions of love and loss, poverty and renewal, redemption and war are reflected in the rocks, trees and animals of his beloved New Mexico. In Spring Poems the words of the river "rise around thorny thickets / then descend again into the burbling stubble," and the poet surrenders himself to this place where his own words are woven by "a thumbnail-sized yellow spider/ with poppy seed eyes." Born in New Mexico of Chicano and Apache descent, Jimmy Santiago Baca was raised first by his grandmother, but was later sent with his brother to an orphanage. A runaway at age thirteen, it was after Baca was sentenced to five years in a Federal prison at the age of twenty-one that he began to turn his life around: there he learned to read and write and found his passion for poetry. His memoir A Place To Stand won the prestigious International Award. He is Champion of the International Poetry Slam and winner of The Before Columbus American Book Award and the Pushcart Prize.
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