Saturday, May 03, 2008
Ada Limón on Jimmy Santiago Baca
Baca has long since been deemed a political poet with his open dialogue about Latino politics, issues of race, racism, incarceration, and the politics of language. Even the film he co-wrote, Blood In, Blood Out (also known as Bound by Honor) delves into these themes. However, this book takes a different turn, as did the book before it (Winter Poems Along the Rio Grande, New Directions 2004). A calm gratefulness offered up to the world is evident in every poem. The fierce anger has subsided, and though the Baca we know is still present and pounding, the tone is one of celebration and magic as opposed to those rails against oppression.