Trinidad Sánchez, Jr. Jalapeño Blues. ISBN: 978-0-915745-72-2. $14.95.

"Trinidad Sánchez, Jr. was at his lyric craft for several decades before his death. He was a prominent poeta Tejano, who provided us in his lyric writings a rich Latino landscape embedded in an indifferent Anglo world covered by the knit of the ethnic fabric and soul of the Mexican, Chicano. He posited a background of side street allegories--literally representations of other things and symbolically expressing a deeper, often spiritual, moral, or political meaning--asphalt lives of inner-city dwellers, often disguised by the cadence of their conjoined languages, food, soul, tears, and laughs of their experience. His language is direct, his hurt is real as tamales con jalapeños, and his hope offers a collision of syntax, poetic physicality, images, and messages, both poignant and real. Trinidad Sánchez’s are necessary poems for a people who seek and demand justice, for children in free lunch with parents with obfuscating futures, for a society who uses and disposes of culture like fads and fashion. When children hear his poems their faces light up and their emotions pour with his words like wrapped in a warm home-made soft taco de carne. When adults listen to his poems their chests and foreheads rise tall like sails pushed by the ocean winds full of Chicano pride. His poems will be read and reread for generations to come. Roberto Cabello-Argandoña, Editor.

"These poems are not only full of heart, humor and joyful song; they are a history of Chicanos and working class struggle. They give life to forgotten souls and pay tribute to those "unrecorded in history." This is poetry that bursts off the page demanding to be read aloud and with a little hip action. So I found myself singing the jalapeño blues as loud as loud could be. Got the jalapeño blues, baby. Yeah! We don't need no stinking badges telling us who we are. But we sure need the poems in this book. Yes, indeed." Lolita Hernández, Detroit, MI Author of Autopsy of an Engine: And Other Stories from the Cadillac Plant.

Trinidad Sanchez, Jr. was born in Pontiac, Michigan on June 15, 1943, the ninth of ten children born to Sofia Sánchez and Trinidad V. Sánchez, Sr., also a poet. Sanchez entered the Society of Jesus as a Jesuit brother in Detroit, Michigan, where he worked with young offenders and prison inmates. Remaining in the order for 27 years, Sánchez left the brotherhood but continued to work in prison ministry for an additional five years. In 1992 he moved to San Antonio, Texas to live with longtime friend Regina Chávez, whom he married on Nov. 26, 1993. From the late nineties until 2003 the couple lived in Denver, Colorado where they opened Cafe Taza, a coffee shop showcasing spoken-word performances. In 2003 the couple returned to San Antonio, where the poet spent his final years. This is his posthumous poetic work.

 

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