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187 Reasons Mexicanos Can't Cross the Border: Undocuments 1971-2007by Juan Felipe Herrera
Synopses & Reviews
Juan Felipe Herrera's writings are charged with theatrical and athletic energies. A hybrid collection of texts written and performed on the road, gathered from more than thirty-five years of work in various genres, these "undocuments" are the record of an epic journey across many different borders: boundaries of nations, state lines, city limits, edges of farmland, crossings and mixtures of languages and literary forms.
From Mexico City to San Francisco, from Central America to central California, Herrera remembers everything and gives back to his native places and to the family, friends and compañeros of his Mexican/American/Chicano odyssey a scrapbook, a logbook, a journal, a multiform confession of proud hybridity and indigenous optimism. A sustained manifesto of resistance and affirmation, these rants, manifestos, newspaper cut-ups, bits of street theatre, anti-lectures, love poems and riffs tell the story of what it’s like to live outlaw and brown in the United States.
Illustrated throughout with photos and artwork.
"¡Por fin! A manifesto you can dance to. Juan Felipe Herrera's searing laments and soulful riffs don't just electrify. They Mexify." Stephanie Elizondo Griest, author of Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana
"I’ve been reading Juan Felipe Herrera since he was little baby poet in the 1970s, and this volume, which collects published and unpublished community pieces from the last three decades, gives me an almost painful pleasure. He is the eternal teen poet, the timeless Beat, the premodern postmodern. He is Walt Whitman, Ezekiel, Pablo Neruda, Langston Hughes, Scheherazade, Carlos Fuentes, Allen Ginsberg, Frida Kahlo, Groucho and Karl Marx, Emily Dickinson, Santana, Lao Tzu, and Octavio Paz rolled up and squeezed through dreams of Aztlan and justice and jazz. He is Floricanto. And 187 Reasons, more than anything he has written, is his autobiography." Tom Lutz, author of Doing Nothing, Crying, and Cosmopolitan Vistas
"Juan Felipe Herrera has written a giant verbal mural bursting with the inventiveness, rhythmic colorings, social engagement and humor — in forms of poetry, litany, and autobiography — that reveal not only the greatness but the absolute necessity of Chicano culture. This is a major generational work by a brilliant practitioner of the art of living the word." Jack Hirschman, poet laureate of the City of San Francisco
The collected performance poetry from a progenitor of Chicano spoken word, spanning thirty-seven years.
A hybrid collection of texts written and performed on the road, from Mexico City to San Francisco, from Central America to central California, illustrated throughout with photos and artwork. Rants, manifestos, newspaper cutups, street theater, anti-lectures, love poems, and riffs tell the story of what it’s like to live outlaw and brown in the United States.
Juan Felipe Herrera is a professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside. The author of twenty-one books, he is also a community arts leader and a dynamic performer and actor. He is the son of Mexican immigrants and grew up in the migrant fields of California.
About the Author
Juan Felipe Herrera is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside. Author of 21 books, he is also a community arts leader and a dynamic performer and actor. He is the son of Mexican immigrants and grew up in the migrant fields of California.
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