Synopses & Reviews
These poems mine the rich history and broad influence of Islam in Spain and beyond, and illuminate connections between places as diverse and far-flung as Puerto Rican villages, the bustling streets of New York, and the sun-drenched beaches of Morocco.
A finalist for the Lenore Marshall and Griffin poetry prizes, Victor Hernández Cruz is the author of several collections of poetry including Maraca and The Mountain in the Sea. Born in Puerto Rico, Cruz now divides his time between Morocco, Puerto Rico, and the United States.
"Mr. Cruz's work has extended the linguistic, historical and geographical horizons within which we think of American poetry, doing so with masterful music, intelligence and humor." Nathaniel Mackey, author of Splay Anthem
, winner of the 2006 National Book Award
A rare book that shows how pure art is the most political tool imaginable, more effective and beautiful than any weapon or social dogma buried in literary texts. . . . In this monumental and historic text Cruz shows two sides of the wandering poet. The first is the vulnerable man who has to leave family behind. The second is the collector of world experience, confronting the forces of time, memory, and culture in the sands of Africa or the jungles of the Caribbean. Cruz is an expert at drawing the reader in.”Ray Gonzalez, The Bloomsbury Review
Victor Hernández Cruz, child of Puerto Rico and Nueva York, has actually takne the journey back to a home he never inhabited but always knew, living between Morocco and his native island in the Caribbean. In the Shadow of Al-Andalus is a record of that hejira, that flight between place, memory, emotion, and history, and Cruz has created a kind of North African/Andalusian jíbarismo, pronouncing again the values of the traditional, hard-working Puerto Rican whose currency is common sense. But this trip has little to do with nostalgia; it is, rather, the embarkation of a process of discovery, of coming to know the world, and the substance of our human inheritance."Ammiel Alcalay
"Mr. Cruz's work has extended the linguistic, historical and geographical horizons within which we think of American poetry, doing so with masterful music, intelligence and humor." Nathaniel Mackey, author of Splay Anthem, winner of the 2006 National Book Award
"[I]t is at the interstice of imagination and memory that In the Shadow of Al-Andalus lives and breathes. The poems came out of the author's personal quest for a written history that reflects his intricate cultural identity and yet, they come to represent the expatriate's cry, the exile's song, and the descendant's lullaby that echo over centuries." Phati'tude Literary Magazine
"[Victor Hernández Cruz's work] is a testament to [his] singular genius."Griffin Poetry Prize citation
About the Author
The author of several collections of poetry, Victor Hernández Cruz has been a finalist for the Lenore Marshall and Griffin Poetry Prizes and a recipient a Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. Born in Puerto Rico, Cruz now divides his time between Morocco, Puerto Rico, and the U.S.