The Concrete River / Edition 1 available in Paperback
- Pub. Date:
- Northwestern University Press
1991 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for Literary Excellence
The Concrete River is a collection of poems by poet laureate of Los Angeles Luis Rodríguez. They illuminate the gritty idiosyncrasies of immigrant life in urban barrios spanning Los Angeles to Chicago to Harlem. Rodríguez lends powerful voices to those struggling to keep the gas on, to find work, and to keep love. Populated by a vibrant cast of characters, ranging from the drugged, to the eccentric, to the heartbroken, Rodríguez’s poems protest capitalism, violence, and exploitation while reveling in the potential of compassion.
About the Author
Luis J. Rodriguez has published fifteen books of poetry, children's literature, fiction, and nonfiction. He is best known for his 1993 memoir of gang life, Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. His awards include a Finalist for the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award, a Lila Wallace Readers Digest Writers Award, a PEN Josephine Miles Literary Award, a Paterson Poetry Prize, a Carl Sandburg Literary Award, and fellowships from the Sundance Institute, the Lannan Foundation, the City of Los Angeles, the City of Chicago, the California Arts Council, and the Illinois Arts Council, among others. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2014 chose Luis J. Rodriguez as Poet Laureate of the city. Luis is also Scholar in Residence at California State University, Northridge.
Table of Contents
I. Prelude to a Heartbeat
Watts BleedsThe Coldest DayDeathwatchTía ChuchaSpeaking with HandsNight DancingSoundtracks
II. Dancing on a Grave
Dancing on a GraveThe VillageChotaWrithing SkeletonsThe Conrete RiverThe Best of UsThe ThresholdThe Twenty-NinthThe Rooster Who Thought It Was a Dog
III. Always Running
Always RunningColumbian StarWaiting Black MexicanThe Bull's Eye InnDon't Read that Poem!Jarocho BluesLips
IV. Music of the Mill
Music of the MillJesús SavesThe Blast FurnaceCarrying My ToolsHeavy Tells a StoryFirst Day of WorkThey Come to DanceBethlehem No More
V. A Harvest of Eyes
A Harvest of EyesThe Quest for FlightThe News You Don't Get at HomeCity of AngelsMean StreetsEvery RoadChained TimeDon't Go Gentle Into that Good ExpresswayEvery Breath, a PrayerThis Tree, this PoemThen Comes a Day
VI. Glossary of Spanish/Caló Terms
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Rodriguez is a really original poet. His style is very honest¿brutally so—but once in a while there are these real glimmers of beauty in it. Enough so that it keeps you reading, and keeps you engaged. Above all, though, it's real.