Photography •  Poetry •  Southwest and Chicano/a

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Sagrado : A Photopoetics Across the Chicano Homeland

Spencer R. Herrera
Levi Romero
Photographs by Robert Kaiser

Winner of the 2014 Southwest Book Award from the Border Regional Library Association

Winner of the 2014 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award for Multicultural Subject

2014 Southwest Books of the Year

2015 International Latino Book Award Honorable Mention for Best Nonfiction, Multi-Author

Un lugar sagrado
, a sacred place where two or more are gathered in the name of community, can be found almost anywhere and yet it is elusive: a charro arena behind a rock quarry, on the pilgrimage trail to Chimayó, a curandero’s shrine in South Texas, or at a binational Mass along the border. Sagrado is neither a search for identity nor a quest for a homeland but an affirmation of an ever-evolving cultural landscape. Embedded at the heart of this remarkable book, in which prose, photographs, and poems complement each other, is a photopoetic journey across the Chicano Southwest.


Spencer R. Herrera is an associate professor of Spanish at New Mexico State University.

Robert Kaiser is a freelance photographer in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Levi Romero is a native of Embudo, New Mexico. He is the author of two collections of poetry, A Poetry of Remembrance: New and Rejected Works (2008) and In the Gathering of Silence (1996). He was awarded the honorary post of New Mexico Centennial Poet Laureate in 2012. Levi Romero’s cultural studies work focuses on cultural landscapes and sustainable building methodologies of northern New Mexico. His work is often presented through an interdisciplinary studies format that includes literary presentation, lecture, video/audio. He teaches in the Chicana and Chicano Studies program at the University of New Mexico.


"Sagrado's three talented artists represent the best in contemporary Chicano poetry, art and history. One of the most important books I've read recently."


Rudolfo Anaya, author of Bless Me, Ultima

"These poems are photos, these photos are poems, and together with the historical testimony that reads delicious as cuento, they are prayers said on behalf of others. A book to teach with or to teach ourselves things we forgot. Wise, heartfelt, generous, grace-filled, and, above all, created with love. And everybody knows whatever is made with love siempre sale bonito. A thousand and one blessings to the artists for this labor from el corazon."


Sandra Cisneros

“With palabras, photos, and poems, Spencer Herrera, Robert Kaiser, and Levi Romero remind us of that ancient, physical, social, and spiritual landscape that is often forgotten, often unknown: the Chicano homeland. Look at the pictures, recite the poems, read the stories—remember what is sacred.”


Ito Romo, author of El Puente/The Bridge

“A profound exploration of our Chicano homeland. A powerful paean to the U.S. Mexico borderlands.”


Michael Trujillo, author of Land of Disenchantment: Latina/o Identities and Transformations in Northern New Mexico

9 x 12 in. 160 pages 114 color photos, 3 duotones