A hybrid collection of texts written and performed on the road, from Mexico City to San Francisco, from Central America to central California, illustrated throughout with photos and artwork. Rants, manifestos, newspaper cutups, street theater, anti-lectures, love poems, and riffs tell the story of what it’s like to live outlaw and brown in the United States.
Juan Felipe Herrera is a professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside. The author of twenty-one books, he is also a community arts leader and a dynamic performer and actor. He is the son of Mexican immigrants and grew up in the migrant fields of California.
|Publisher:||City Lights Books|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Juan Felipe Herrera has received numerous awards and fellowships. The author of 21 books, including fourteen collections of poetry, prose, short stories, young adult novels and children's books, he is also a community arts leader, working with at-risk youth and migrant communities. He is also a dynamic performer and actor who has appeared on stage and in film.
What People are Saying About This
"Herrera's searing laments and soulful riffs don't just electrify. They Mexify."--(Stephanie Elizondo Griest, author of Around the Bloc)
"Aware, phosphorescent and immediate, this is language brilliantly engaged."--(Sesshu Foster, author of Atomik Aztek)
"Some of the strongest poetry, memoir, satire, and theater that you will find in one book."
"A major generational work by a brilliant practitioner of the art of living the word."--(Jack Hirschman, SF poet laureate)
"[Herrera] is the eternal teen poet, the timeless Beat, the premodern postmodern."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An interesting exploration of immigrant life in America. This is a collection of poems, prose fragments, prose poems, and journals. I tend to find a lot of poetry to be pretty obnoxious and unnecessarily dense. Herrera's writing flows naturally and, while he finds himself funny, he does not seem to think of himself as the glowing center of the universe. Much of Herrera's writing comments on historical events. I had to look up the Zapatista movement, but otherwise most of the events were within my lifetime, and a fully nuanced understanding of American and Chicano history doesn't seem necessary to enjoy this poet's comments on his own life. Pretty neat overall. Read it if you like poetry and/or those zany post-modern movements.
187 Reasons Mexicanos Can't Cross the Border contains amazing poetry, anti-poetry, narratives and short stories of Herrera's works for over 35 years. This book gathers the "undocuments" from 1971-2007, and reading it you can watch the history of the Mexicano unfold before you, it is as though Herrera has painted a wall, a wall of graffiti. Art many willingly accept yet others will walk right past never daring to look too hard. This wall is sometimes disjointed, uncomfortable, and awkward, but that is the life of the Mexicano in this world, and that is the beauty of the picture Juan Felipe Herrera lays before his readers. Also like a graffiti wall in that you get little snippets of love and hate, of peace, of war, of pride and self-consciousness. Each story or poem gives glimpses, which alone would be beautiful, but in this compilation they become completed as all together they form a whole. Reading through the undocuments, some really captured me, drove me to a new level of compassion and understanding, while others were most likely targeting someone else. Just as walking through an art exhibit some pieces you cannot tear yourself from, others you barely notice...and understand that each viewer/ reader will take home a completely different experience. Herrera will meet you where you are. He will challenge you at the place you now find yourself.Herrera goes beyond these borders and also captures the relations between the landinos and the indios of Mexico and the full America Latina. He goes out of his way to show us the differences, the similarities, and the life, that if we are not living are not aware of the difficulty that comes with it. Yet, this is not only a text full of sadness, pain and suffering, it is just as full of pride, loyalty, love, and acceptance. It is a modern day Tarzan call to all those who will hear, it is a cry that rings throughout the nations, a call that when read cannot be ignored, it is a cry mostly for truth, and justice. It is a call to be prideful of your heritage, to not give in to smoothing differences, to not change the way you appear to yourself or to the critics around you. In 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can't Cross the Border, Herrera displayed one thing with the loudest voice: injustice. He gave injustice a voice- a jagged, crunchy, palpable voice.