Spring Poems Along the Rio Grande by Jimmy Santiago Baca
(New Directions Paperbook)

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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.

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.
 

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 April 17, 2007 by New Directions. 75 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Spring Poems Along the Rio Grande

Publishers Weekly

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""Landscapes of war,/ people starving,/ refugees waving for us to help them"" represent the hard politics of the present, competing for attention with the poet's difficult past (""when my life/ blew from street corner to street corner/ in menial work"") and with what seem to be memories of sex ad...

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