Jimmy Santiago Baca Takes and He Gives.

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.

(Source for biographical info: Wikipedia)

About poetsguide

A former altar boy and a former U.S. Army interrogator, respectively, John F. Buckley and Martin Ott were born and raised in Michigan, meeting each other at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor before separately migrating to California in the early 1990s to attend graduate schools, their friendship evolving into a writing collaboration – what they refer to as poetic volleyball. They both currently live in Southern California, John with his wife, Martin with his wife and two children. John teaches English composition at several local colleges, while Martin works as a marketing strategist for a global company. John still affects a strange piety; Martin still finds himself asking a lot of questions. Individually and together, their writing has appeared in over 150 periodicals and anthologies, garnering three Pushcart Prize nominations for Martin’s poems “India Ivy” and “When Bridges Fall” (available in his collection Children of Interrogation, which has been a finalist or semi-finalist in eighteen poetry prizes) and John’s “Poem for Christy’s Daughter” (available in his collection Kinks in the Hose). Martin has also optioned three screenplays. His chapbook Misery Loves was published on Red Dancefloor Press. John’s chapbook Breach Birth was published on Propaganda Press.
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