Biography and Literature

$17.95 hardcover

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Working in the Dark: Reflections of a Poet of the Barrio

Jimmy Baca

Baca passionately explores the troubled years of his youth, from which he emerged with heightened awareness of his ethnic identify as a Chicano, his role as a witness for the misunderstood tribal life of the barrio, and his redemptive vocation as a poet.


"Baca is the author of several volumes of poetry. Baca learned to read and write as a young man in prison; his poetry focuses on prison, darkness, night, myth, and Chicanismo. This is a collection of autobiographical essays exploring his ethnic identity and the process and experience of creation and writing; the essays are permeated with Baca's intensely lyrical sense of the empowerment of literacy and language. Appropriate for comprehensive contemporary poetry collections as well as Chicano literature collections."


Library Journal

"This is a book about connection, forged by a poetic imagination in a language that sometimes soars. Highly recommended."


MultiCultural Review

"This volume is less an autobiography than a romantic paean, taking form as a series of essays, to the redemptive, ecstatic capabilities of poetry. Baca sees his vocation in transcendental terms: 'I became one with the air and sky, the dirt and the iron and the concrete'; he regards himself as a voice for the poor and oppressed in America. As a self-ordained spokesperson for Chicanos, he is at his best when evoking barrio culture: his stately grandmother, the village cantinas, and the quiet solidarity of Mexican workers."


Publishers Weekly

Published By Red Crane Books

5.5 x 8.5 in. 182 pages 5 drawings