Black Mesa: Poems

Overview

Black Mesa Poems is rooted in the American Southwest, the setting of Jimmy Santiago Baca's highly acclaimed long narrative poem, Martin & Meditations on the South Valley (New Directions, 1987). Black Mesa Poems is rooted in the American Southwest, the setting of Jimmy Santiago Baca's highly acclaimed long narrative poem, Martin & Meditations on the South Valley (New Directions, 1987). "Baca's evocation of this landscape," as City Paper noted, "its aridity and fertility, is nothing short of brilliant." The...
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Black Mesa Poems

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Overview

Black Mesa Poems is rooted in the American Southwest, the setting of Jimmy Santiago Baca's highly acclaimed long narrative poem, Martin & Meditations on the South Valley (New Directions, 1987). Black Mesa Poems is rooted in the American Southwest, the setting of Jimmy Santiago Baca's highly acclaimed long narrative poem, Martin & Meditations on the South Valley (New Directions, 1987). "Baca's evocation of this landscape," as City Paper noted, "its aridity and fertility, is nothing short of brilliant." The individual poems of Black Mesa are embedded both in the family and in the community life of the barrio, detailing births and deaths, neighbors and seasons, injustices and victories. Loosely interconnected, the poems trace a visionary biography of place.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The narrator of these poems lives in an adobe house built from tiles ``wagon'd to Black Mesa / one hundred fifty years ago.'' Baca ( Mart inaccent, yes?/yes/pk & Meditations on the South Valley ) draws directly for pk material from the small New Mexico town where he was born, telling of knife fights, the birth of children and animals, buying a lime-green patio set. He creates rituals from small gestures, expanding to mythic significance a boy who prefers red chile peppers, but eats the green his grandmother chooses. Few poets have paid such close attention to the passing seasons, particularly winter's harshness; although he finds this causes the death of animals, pk Baca also insists that ``Nature was not all that cruel.'' Writing in short, crisp, rhythmic lines, Baca transfigures a seemingly barren landscape. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811211024
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 11/28/1989
  • Series: Paperbook Series
  • Pages: 1
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet 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 Martín & 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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