Iceworker Sings and Other Poems

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Poetry. Latino/Latina Studies. The late Andrés Montoya's THE ICEWORKER SINGS AND OTHER POEMS evokes a world of machines and violence as it confronts a culture that has abandoned hope. His poems are stories, prayers, and letters that foster a spiritual resolve in the midst of a chaotic and concrete reality that denies the holy. Primarily urban and intensely personal, his poetry is nonetheless universal in dealing with issues of the day: race, faith, urban decay, poverty, police brutality, and the individual search...

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Overview

Poetry. Latino/Latina Studies. The late Andrés Montoya's THE ICEWORKER SINGS AND OTHER POEMS evokes a world of machines and violence as it confronts a culture that has abandoned hope. His poems are stories, prayers, and letters that foster a spiritual resolve in the midst of a chaotic and concrete reality that denies the holy. Primarily urban and intensely personal, his poetry is nonetheless universal in dealing with issues of the day: race, faith, urban decay, poverty, police brutality, and the individual search for hope in the midst of despair. Winner of the 1997 Chicano/Latino Literary Prize.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In his first collection, Montoya confronts the stark reality of poverty suffered in America by unskilled laborers, especially the Latino community of California. His poems reach out like prayers to those who have "regrets for quitting/ school at 16 for the job at PDM steel," for he knows that these are the people headed for violent realities, as when "the cops came/ and shot him/ 27 times." Yet while Montoya addresses these harsh realities, he brings a tenderness to his work that reflects the tone and style of Pablo Neruda. For example, "Letter to Sarah" ends with this line: "a memory resting in my gut like/ a tear already fallen from the face." Yet the poems constantly return to the graphic details of living in poverty and violent surrounds where "the night always scares you/ ever since they shot Efrain in the face." Through his poetry, Montoya lifts up the dead by giving them a voice; much like Philip Levine, he speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves.--Tim Gavin, Episcopal Acad., Merion, PA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780927534864
  • Publisher: Bilingual Review/Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Pages: 86
  • Product dimensions: 6.54 (w) x 8.36 (h) x 0.26 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2004

    Songs in the Key of Chicano

    It is so sad that Andres Montoya left this world at such a young age. Aside from the obvious loss suffered by his family and friends (I never had the pleasure of meeting him), we wonder about the poetry and other writing he would have produced in the wake of his beautiful and accomplished collection, 'the iceworker sings.' Much has been written about Montoya's first book which was the winner of the 1997 Chicano/Latino Literary Prize (University of California at Irvine). Montoya's Fresno is filled with love, lust, hate, suffering and protest sung in a clear Chicano voice. Suffice it to say that the brutal yet eloquent honesty of Montoya's poems has assured that 'the iceworker sings' will be read and studied for decades to come.

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