Healing Earthquakes by Jimmy Santiago Baca

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Combining a stunning lyrical intensity with a profound exploration of the human soul, Healing Earthquakes uses poetry to conjure a romance, from beginning to end. Jimmy Santiago Baca introduces us to a man and woman before they are acquainted and re-creates their first meeting, falling in love, their decision to make a family, the eventual realization of each other's irreconcilable faults, the resulting conflicts, the breakup and hostility, and, finally, their transcendence of the bitterness and resentment. Throughout the relationship we are privy to the couple's astonishing range of emotions: the anguish of loneliness, the heady rush of new love, the irritations and joys of raising children, the difficulties in truly knowing someone, the doldrums of breakup, and so on. It is impossible not to identify with these characters and to recognize one's own experience in theirs. As he weaves this story, Baca explores many of his traditional themes: the beauty and cruelty of the desert lands where he has spent much of his life, the grace and wisdom of animals, the quiet dignity of life on small Chicano farms. This is an extraordinary work from one of our finest poets.

About Jimmy Santiago Baca

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As an abandoned child and a runaway Jimmy Santiago Baca's childhood was spent on the margins of society. In early adulthood he reverted again and again to a life of crime, eventually being sentenced to five years in a maximum-security prison. After years of hellish suffering on administrative segregation and in isolation, he emerges from prison a voracious reader and a skilled, self-taught writer. He miraculously discovers a deep attachment to poetry that becomes his saving grace. Now an accomplished and celebrated author, Baca is the recipient of many honors including the Pushcart Prize, the American Book Award, the Hispanic Heritage Award, and for his memoir, A Place to Stand, he received the prestigious International Prize. In 2006 he won the Cornelius P. Turner Award, a national award that annually recognizes one GED graduate who has made outstanding contributions to society in education, justice, health, public service, and social welfare. Devoting his post-prison life to writing and teaching others who are overcoming hardship, Baca has conducted hundreds of writing workshops in prisons, community centers, libraries, and universities. In 2005 he created Cedar Tree, Inc., a nonprofit foundation dedicated to helping others improve their lives through education. Other books by Jimmy Santiago Baca PoetrySelected Poems/Poemas SelectosRita and JuliaSpring Poems Along the Rio GrandeWinter Poems Along the Rio GrandeC-Train and Thirteen MexicansHealing EarthquakesQue Linda La Brisa/How Beautiful the Breeze IsImmigrants in Our Own LandBlack Mesa PoemsMartin and Meditations on the South Valley Short Stories and EssaysAdolescents on the Edge / Stories from the EdgeWorking in the DarkThe Importance of a Piece of PaperBreaking Bread with Darkness NovelA Glass of Water MemoirA Place to Stand FilmBlood In/Blood OutLate BlossomsLost VoicesMoving the River Back Home
Published December 1, 2007 by Grove Press. 320 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Building on the achievement of the epic poem Martin & Meditations on the South Valley and his memoirs Working in the Dark: Reflections of a Poet in the Barrio and the forthcoming A Place to Stand: The Making of a Poet (Forecasts, May 28), World Heavyweight Poetry Bout champ Baca's new book-leng...

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