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First Place co-winner, Best Poetry, Latino Literary Hall of Fame
A poetic collage of voices, genres, and time-spaces. A display of power over language and rhythm. A postmodern performance of naked figures hanging in the nebulae of a militarized universe. A new millennium cubist manifesto against decrepit political machines. A mystic song in search of birth and love. In this new collection of poems, Juan Felipe Herrera's natural talent for capturing the raw dimensions of reality merges with his wild imagination and technical prowess.
Things, names, places, histories, herstories, desires, wills, minds, and their effects and progeny are re-mixed, re-mastered, and re-cast into a new narrative theater. Characters in a constant and stubborn rush, appearance, disappearance, and flow—with, against, and for each other—create the fire and give birth to the hallucinatory spotted and leaf-eating, long-necked child. Exciting and original, cutting-edge and risk-taking, Giraffe on Fire is a breathtaking addition to a respected body of work by a poet not afraid to speak out about how poetry reflects the raw beauty and truth of life.
About the Author
Juan Felipe Herrera’s recent books include Border-Crosser with a Lamborghini Dream, Thunderweavers/Tejedoras de rayos, Lotería Cards and Fortune Poems (illustrated by Artemio Rodríguez), Crashboomlove, and The Upside-Down Boy/El niño de cabeza. He is a professor of Chicano and Latin American Studies at California State University, Fresno. He lives in Fresno with his soul partner, performance artist and poet Margarita Luna Robles.
“The premier Chicano poet in America returns with an experiment in time and language. Long prose-poem sequences combine with Spanish texts and English fragments that blossom in galactic proportions. Herrera's poems lift the Mexican experience beyond its borders and drop it among terrains of surviving perception, where the voices of immigrants are the echoes of future boardroom lineups. Giraffe on Fire is a challenge of poetic codes, spoken colors, and linguistic formulas. It is the poetry of an artist who has moved beyond the plugged-in circus of his discoveries to find that his writing hands are wide open to the stars.”—Bloomsbury Review
“Although Herrera describes himself as a Chicano poet, the bilingual poems in Giraffe on Fire have less to do with cultural identity than with issues of self and survival in a world marked by rapid flux. . . . His intricate narrative technique involves weaving the seemingly spontaneous grunts, howls, and imprecations of psyches undergoing forced transition.”—World Literature Today
“This is the poet in tune with the universe.”—Virgil Suárez
“Some of the most exquisite images one can find in U.S. Latino poetry.”—Lauro Flores, editor of The Floating Borderlands: Twenty-Five Years of U.S. Hispanic Literature