The promise of a new beginning brings Casimiro and Nopal together when they are young immigrants, having made the nearly deadly journey across the border from Mexico. They settle into a life of long days in the chili fields, and in a few years their happy union yields two sons, Lorenzo and Vito. But when Nopal is brutally murdered, the boys are left to navigate life in this brave but capricious new world without her.
A Glass of Water is a searing, heartfelt tribute to brotherhood, and an arresting portrait of the twisted paths people take to claim their piece of the ever-elusive American dream.
Fiercely moving, the two long narrative poems of Martín & Meditations on the South Valley revolve around the semi-autobiographical figure of Martin, a mestizo or "detribalized Apache."Fiercely moving, the two long narrative poems of Martín & Meditations on the South Valley revolve around the semi-autobiographical figure of Martin, a mestizo or "detribalized Apache." Abandoned as a child and a long time on the hard path to building his own family, Martin at last finds his home in the stubborn and beautiful world of the barrio. Jimmy Santiago Baca "writes with unconcealed passion," Denise Levertov states in her introduction, “but he is far from being a naive realist; what makes his writing so exciting to me is the way in which it manifests both an intense lyricism and that transformative vision which perceives the mythic and archetypal significance of life-events."
In response to increased demand for Latino poetry in Spanish, and to thousands of Baca fans who are bilingual, this unique collection contains Spanish translations of Baca’s poetry selected from the volumes Martín and Mediations on the South Valley (1987), Black Mesa Poems (1989), Immigrants in Our Own Land (1990), Healing Earthquakes (2001), C-Train and Thirteen Mexicans (2002), Winter Poems Along the Rio Grande (2004), and Spring Poems Along the Rio Grande (2007).
Immigrants in Our Own Land & Selected Early Poems is a new, expanded edition of Jimmy Santiago Baca's best-selling first book of poetry (originally published by Louisiana State University Press in 1979).Immigrants in Our Own Land & Selected Early Poems is a new, expanded edition of Jimmy Santiago Baca's best-selling first book of poetry (originally published by Louisiana State University Press in 1979). A number of poems from early, now unavailable chapbooks have also been included so that the reader can at last have an overview of Baca's remarkable literary development. The voice of Immigrants will be familiar to readers of the widely praised Martín & Meditations on the South Valley and Black Mesa Poems (New Directions, 1987 and 1989), but the territory may not be. Most of the poems in this collection were written while the author was in prison, where he taught himself to read and write. All the poems are concerned with the incarcerated or the disenfranchised; they all communicate the sting from the backhand of the American promise. As Denise Levertov has noted, Baca "is far from being a naive realist," but of poverty and prejudice, of material that is truly raw, he "writes in unconcealed passion."
Singing at the Gates displays the breadth and depth of Baca's poetic power—with irreverent charm and disarming freedom of mind and soul. The vital pulse of love abiding in these poems will affirm and reaffirm, for both longtime and newfound readers, his devotion to truth and beauty.