Synopses & Reviews
Featuring 25 drawings in charcoal, conte crayons, and pastels, this handbook pairs portraits of people who live and work along the U.S.-Mexico border with bilingual poems that have been inspired by each of the drawings. A testimony to the people of the Rio Grande Valley, these drawings and poems capture their spirit, their quest for happiness, and their struggles to overcome economic hardship. This remarkable book highlights characters such as the "young street musician," the "six-year-old street vendor," and the "wise woman with rings." Compassionate and aesthetically compelling, this record raises awareness about social and cultural issues associated with border life, such as education, literacy, and poverty, and fosters cross-cultural understanding.
"Hurray for Steve and Reefka and the magical work they are doing crossing fronteras." —Sandra Cisneros, author, Caramelo and House on Mango Street
"Such a kiss is this book that you oftentimes cannot tell which came first: the poem, its translation, or the art work." —Rene Saldaña, author, The Jumping Tree and The Whole Sky Full of Stars
"In the tradition of an earlier era, Steve and Reefka Schneider have created a portrait of border life that utilizes both words and pictures to capture the moment." —Kathleen Alcalá, author, The Flower in the Skull
About the Author
Steven P. Schneider is a poet, a writer, and a professor in the department of English at the University of Texas-Pan American. His poetry has been published in national and international journals, including American Life in Poetry, Critical Quarterly, Literary Review, Prairie Schooner, and Tikkun. He is the author of A. R. Ammons and the Poetics of Widening Scope, Prairie Air Show, and Unexpected Guests and the editor of Complexities of Motion: New Essays on A. R. Ammonss Long Poems. He is the recipient of an Anna Davidson Rosenberg Award for Poetry and a Nebraska Arts Council Fellowship. Reefka Schneider is one of the foremost artists of the Rio Grande Valley region in South Texas. She is represented by Nuevo Santander Gallery, and her artwork has been exhibited at the Art Center for the Islands, the International Museum of Art and Science, Northwest Vista College, the Rockport Center for the Arts, and the University of Texas-Pan American. They live in McAllen, Texas. Norma E. Cantú is a professor of English at the University of Texas-San Antonio and the author or coauthor of several books, including the award-winning memoir Canícula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.