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Fiercely moving, the two long narrative poems of Martin & Meditations on the South Valley revolve around the semi-autobiographical figure of Martin, a mestizo or 'detribalized Apache.' Abandoned as a child and a long time on the hard path to building his own family, Martin at last finds his home in the stubborn and beautiful world of the barrio. Jimmy Santiago Baca 'writes with unconcealed passion, ' Denise Levertov states in her introduction, 'but he is far from being a naive realist; what makes his writing so exciting to me is the way in which it manifests both an intense lyricism and that transformative vision which perceives the mythic and archetypal significance of life-events.'
"A Place to Stand, the wrenching memoir of Jimmy Santiago Baca, details how the written word helped him overcome a life of violence, bigotry, and crime. Now an internationally acclaimed writer and winner of the Pushcart Prize and American Book Award, Baca describes the extreme measures he took to survive on the street and in prison and how poetry became an essential element of his newfound sense of self. A vivid portrait of life inside a maximum-security prison and an affirmation of one man's spirit in overcoming the most brutal adversity, this award-winning memoir stands as proof there is always hope in even the most desperate lives.
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