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Blood In, Poetry Out: Jimmy Santiago Baca's Vida Loca

"The Poetry Foundation is pleased to partner with the Chicago Public Library to present a reading by poet Jimmy Santiago Baca. Baca's work is concerned with social justice and revolves around the marginalized and disenfranchised, dealing with themes of addiction, community, and the American Southwest barrios," the foundation announced Monday.

"Born in New Mexico and of Chicano and Apache descent, Jimmy Santiago Baca was raised first by his grandmother, who later sent him to an orphanage. At 13, Baca ran away, and at 21, he was sentenced to five years in a maximum-security prison. It was there that he learned to read and began to write poetry.

"Today a prolific writer, Baca has been awarded the Pushcart Prize, the National Poetry Award, two Southwest Book Awards, and the International Hispanic Heritage Award. He has also written a memoir, a collection of stories, a novel, and a guidebook for teachers."

Baca will appear at the Harold Washington Library Center on Saturday, April 28 at 2 p.m.

Let's take a look at the man and his work.


1. A Place to Stand.


2. Blood In Blood Out.

"Based on the true life experiences of poet Jimmy Santiago Baca, the film focuses on half-brothers Paco and Cruz, and their bi-racial cousin Miklo. It opens in 1972, as the three are members of an East L.A. gang known as the Vatos Locos, and the story focuses on how a violent crime and the influence of narcotics alter their lives. Miklo is incarcerated and sent to San Quentin, where he makes a "home" for himself. Cruz becomes an exceptional artist, but a heroin addiction overcomes him with tragic results. Paco becomes a cop and an enemy to his 'carnal,' Miklo.


3. Adolescents on the Edge.


4. I Am Offering This Poem.


5. Immigrants In Our Own Land.

6. The County Jail.

7. Ancestor.


Comments welcome.


Posted on April 16, 2012

MUSIC - Britney's IUD.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - Locked Out And Loaded.

BOOKS - Foxconned.


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