He took blows to the teeth from the world, his parents abandoning him at the age of two. He took off from an orphanage, living on the streets. He took three years in isolation out of six and a half in prison, because the guards found his desire for education dangerous. He took cigarettes from other inmates in exchange for poems he wrote, before sending his work off to Denise Levertov when she was poetry editor at Mother Jones. Jimmy Santiago Baca has taken a lot.
And now he gives poetry, like these three here, conversational poems on hard lives and soft grace among the working class. And now he gives memoirs, stories and plays to the world, about himself, about the disenfranchised, about human beings wrestling with themselves, others, institutions, attitudes, wrestling with the giant snakes that want to eat them broken. And now he gives, through his foundation, Cedar Tree, Inc., free instruction, books, writing material, scholarships, and chances to ex-cons as interns. Jimmy Santiago Baca keeps giving a lot.
Take our advice, Jimmy Santiago Baca. Give us an updated version of your website, which looks several years old. Give it one of those little PayPal logo thingies so that people can donate online to Cedar Tree, Inc. Keep becoming the tide that lifts all boats, even the ones the others say will never float.