Pub. Date:
Northwestern University Press
The Concrete River / Edition 1

The Concrete River / Edition 1


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780915306428
Publisher: Northwestern University Press
Publication date: 07/01/1995
Pages: 125
Sales rank: 892,173
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile: 910L (what's this?)

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 Bleeds
The Coldest Day
Tía Chucha
Speaking with Hands
Night Dancing

II. Dancing on a Grave

Dancing on a Grave
The Village
Writhing Skeletons
The Conrete River
The Best of Us
The Threshold
The Twenty-Ninth
The Rooster Who Thought It Was a Dog

III. Always Running

Always Running
Columbian Star
Black Mexican
The Bull's Eye Inn
Don't Read that Poem!
Jarocho Blues

IV. Music of the Mill

Music of the Mill
Jesús Saves
The Blast Furnace
Carrying My Tools
Heavy Tells a Story
First Day of Work
They Come to Dance
Bethlehem No More

V. A Harvest of Eyes

A Harvest of Eyes
The Quest for Flight
The News You Don't Get at Home
City of Angels
Mean Streets
Every Road
Chained Time
Don't Go Gentle Into that Good Expressway
Every Breath, a Prayer
This Tree, this Poem
Then Comes a Day

VI. Glossary of Spanish/Caló Terms

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The Concrete River 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
spoko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.