Ben Olguín

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Ben OlguinIn the tradition of testimonial poets raúlrsalinas, Carolyn Forché, Luís Rodriguez, Martín Espada, Roberto Vargas and other politically-engaged writers, B.V. Olguín has written a lyric testament to the resilience of the Cuban people and their revolutionary spirit that has inspired legions throughout the world to fight for justice. These poems explore the forty-five year history of the Venceremos Brigade, of which the author is a member, and their support of the Cuban Revolution’s commitment to privileging people over profits. The poems bear witness to brigadista exhilaration at working alongside revolutionaries who fought with Che Guevara in Cuba, Africa and Latin America, meeting nurses, doctors and dentists returning from international missions in underdeveloped nations, and debating the responsibilities of intellectuals with American expatriates working and studying in Cuba. Olguín’s poetry also examines profound contradictions emerging in the Special Period, the myriad cultural clashes and human frailties that emerge in collective contexts, as well as the true meaning of volunteer work and the role of art in society. Written in an engaging conversational style, the poems are rich in metaphor, deep in metaphysical meaning, and always grounded in the material realities of a revolutionary context where people must struggle daily to produce their own food and products while remaining prepared to repel another U.S. invasion.

The Venceremos Brigade was founded by American internationalists in 1969, and is the fi rst of nine international brigades. There have been 45 contingents of the Venceremos Brigade to date, with over 10,000 Americans participating in people-to-people diplomacy in Cuba. Author pho

Where the Reckless Ones Come to Die by Vincent Cooper

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This 32-page chapbook contains eight poems by Vincent Cooper and is illustrated with eight black & white photographs by Desireé Escobedo.

From the poem “Pulse”: “These streets have no pulse/Even the overweight, disease-ridden prostitute/on the corner of Guadalupe and Zarzamora/is struggling to continue on this Saturday night/flapping her chanclas while walking back and forth/attempting to look sane and nonchalant for the officer/driving by.” Continue Reading →

Hijacked by Fire by Eduardo Cavazos Garza

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Only fifty copies of HIJACKED BY FIRE were printed, each numbered and signed by the author.

Hijacked by Fire is a treasure chest of human survival—and of the creation of beauty from bottle caps and Cup o’ Noodle lids, from the scars of the barrios of South Texas and the battlefields of the VietNam War, from the cantos of the Chicano Movement, the Yanaguana sweat lodges, and the Jazz Poets Society. We are left humbled by the power of the human spirit, which cannot be hijacked by any fire more powerful than its own passions.—Carmen Tafolla Continue Reading →

“There is so much here to challenge poetry readers” — La Bloga review of Chicano Poet

Reyes Cárdenas