Singing at the Gates

Selected Poems

By Jimmy Santiago Baca
(Grove Press, Hardcover, 9780802122100, 251pp.)

Publication Date: January 2014

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Description
Award-winning writer Jimmy Santiago Baca, a vital voice in American poetry, weaves personal and political threads to create a pertinent and poignant narrative infused with vigor and passion, emotional grace and vivid sensory detail. "Singing At The Gates" is a collection of new and previously published poems that reflect back over four decades of Baca's life. These are poems that revitalize the national dialogue: raging against war and imprisonment, celebrating family and the bonds of friendship, heightening appreciation for and consciousness of the environment. A career-spanning selection, it includes his early work as a budding poet, written while serving a five-year prison sentence; poems drawn from Baca's first chapbook; and recent pieces meditating on the significance of breaking through oppression.
"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.



About the Author
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.
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