Half of the World in Light

New and Selected Poems [With CD]

By Juan Felipe Herrera; Francisco A. Lomeli (Foreword by)
(University of Arizona Press, Paperback, 9780816527038, 310pp.)

Publication Date: July 2008

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Description
Includes an audio CD of the author reading
For nearly four decades, Juan Felipe Herrera has documented his experience as a Chicano in the United States and Latin America through stunning, memorable poetry that is both personal and universal in its impact, themes, and approach. Often political, never fainthearted, his career has been marked by tremendous virtuosity and a unique sensibility for uncovering the unknown and the unexpected. Through a variety of stages and transformations, Herrera has evolved more than almost any other Chicano poet, always re-inventing himself into a more mature and seasoned voice.
Now, in this unprecedented collection, we encounter the trajectory of this highly innovative and original writer, bringing the full scope of his singular vision into view. Beginning with early material from A Certain Man and moving through thirteen of his collections into new, previously unpublished work, this assemblage also includes an audio CD of the author reading twenty-four selected poems aloud. Serious scholars and readers alike will now have available to them a representative set of glimpses into his production as well as his origins and personal development. The ultimate value of bringing together such a collection, however, is that it will allow us to better understand and appreciate the complexity of what this major American poet is all about.



About the Author
Juan Felipe Herrera is the U.S. Poet Laureate and was inspired by the fire-speakers of the early Chicano Movement and by heavy exposure to various poetry, jazz, and blues performance streams. His published works include 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can't Cross the Border: Undocuments 1971 2007; Border-Crosser with a Lamborghini Dream; Mayan Drifter: Chicano Poet in the Lowlands of the Americas; Thunderweavers/Tejedoras de Rayos; Laughing Out Loud, I Fly, a Pura Belpre Honor Book; Americas Award winners Crashboomlove and Cinnamon Girl; Calling the Doves, which won the Ezra Jack Keats Award; and Upside Down Boy, which was adapted into a musical. He has received the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship and previously served as California Poet Laureate. He has taught at both California State University, Fresno and University of California, Riverside and held the Tomas Rivera endowed chair in creative writing. He lives in Fresno, California.

Francisco A. Lomeli is a professor in the departments of Spanish and Portuguese and Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of Handbook of Hispanic Cultures in the United States: Literature and Art.


Praise For Half of the World in Light

"Many poets since the 1960s have dreamed of a new hybrid art, part oral, part written, part English, part something else: an art grounded in ethnic identity, fueled by collective pride, yet irreducibly individual too. Many poets have tried to create such an art: Herrera is one of the first to succeed." New York Times

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