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Stray Poems

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Stray Poems opens with San Francisco Poet Laureate Alejandro Murgu a's inaugural address, where he provides a brilliant and impassioned poetic account of San Francisco's Native and Latino literary history. What follows is a selection of Murgu a's most recent work, composed over the past twelve years. These are poems of the twenty-first century, written in a combination of English and Spanish--the patois of contemporary America. Angry, rebellious, subversive, sentimental, hip, urban, local, global.

Alejandro Murgu a is the author of Southern Front and This War Called Love, both winners of the American Book Award. He is San Francisco's first Latino Poet Laureate.

Praise for Alejandro Murgu a & Stray Poems:

In the city of poets, Murgu a has become the activist voice of refugees and exiles--as so many of us are, even as natives--at the center of the Americas. Disguised by its sensuous intimacy, soothing and ennobling, his is a poetry that arms the resistance.--Dagoberto Gilb, author of The Magic of Blood

Poet, teacher, publisher, lover, literary guerrilla--Alejandro Murgu a is a San Francisco treasure. And I'm not saying this because he knows where to find the best pozole. Although he does.--Jack Boulware, Litquake co-founder

The powerful stream of rich, diverse Spanish spoken in the United States by millions of Latinos from Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, has rushed into the huge river of the English tongue in such a way that a language and a literature have been born from those troubled waters, exploring multiple alternatives and choosing many paths. These Stray Poems from Alejandro Murgu a speak with all those voices, crossing linguistic borders and really going out of the way to deviate from the standard path and let the multiracial and multicultural, all-embracing Latino beat flow into the heart of English.--Daisy Zamora, The Violent Foam

Murgu a with a tango unleashed, a city on fire, a rendezvous of homage, manifesto, revenge and transcendence--he is alone, without a face, yet recognizable in every body that swims through the under-streets of the City, of Paris, of Havana, of bombed-out-Here's-and-There's and the stripped down body of all of us. No stones are left unturned; hypnotic, alarming, 'melodram tico, ' rough-lovin', unkempt, 'dangerous, ' and ready to battle at the center of the scorched core. 'I didn't cheat, ' one poem admits. He is on trial--fire-spitter and disassembler of cultural falsifications, in 'strange' and romantic moods, the poems scatter truth and aim and blow and burn and rise unto the flagless sky--'. . . a country of oceans and mountains.' Murgu a gets there. Alone, because few embark on that voyage. An astonishing, brutal nakedness. Love, that is. No book like it. An unimaginable heart of and for the peoplea ground--breaking prize.--Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of California

ISBN-13: 9781931404136

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: City Lights Books

Publication Date: 04-08-2014

Pages: 110

Product Dimensions: 6.80h x 4.90w x 0.40d

Series: San Francisco Poet Laureate

Alejandro Murguia is the author of Southern Front and This War Called Love (both winners of the American Book Award). His non-fiction book The Medicine of Memory highlights the Mission District in the 1970s during the Nicaraguan Solidarity movement. He is a founding member and the first director of The Mission Cultural Center. He was a founder of The Roque Dalton Cultural Brigade, and co-editor of Volcan: Poetry From Central America. Currently he is a professor in Latina Latino Studies at San Francisco State University. He is the author of the short story "The Other Barrio" which first appeared in the anthology San Francisco Noir and recently filmed in the streets of the Mission District. In poetry he has published Spare Poems, and this year a new collection Native Tongue. He is the Sixth San Francisco Poet Laureate and the first Latino poet to hold the position.