Poet-activist Jimmy Baca immerses the reader in an epic narrative poem, imagining the experience of motherhood in the context of immigration, family separation, and ICE raids on the Southern border.
Jimmy Santiago Baca sends us on a journey with Sophia, an El Salvadorian mother facing a mountain of obstacles, carrying with her the burden of all that has come before: her husband’s murder, a wrenching separation from her young son at the border, then rape and abuse at the hands of ICE, yet persevering: “I keep walking/carrying you in my thoughts,” she repeats, as she wills her boy to know she is on a quest to find him.
About the Author
Jimmy Santiago Baca is an American poet, teacher, and activist of Apache and Chicano descent, and holds a number of awards for his easily accessible writing style and activism. He is the author of A Place to Stand, which was developed into a documentary film about his life, airing on PBS.
“This slim, salient volume will open readers’ eyes wide to the true human stories behind blaring headlines about immigration policies and debates.” —Booklist, Starred Review
“Incredibly emotive and beautifully written, When I Walk Through That Door, I Am is a must read.” —Bustle
“Jimmy Baca’s new book brilliantly reimagines the epic poem—and reshapes the epic hero as a young immigrant woman struggling to escape violence and find the child that has been torn away from her. A work that speaks strikingly and passionately of our times.” —Richard Blanco, inaugural poet and author of How to Love a Country
“[Baca] writes with unconcealed passion . . . both an intense lyricism and transformative vision.” —Denise Levertov
“[Baca’s] voice, brutal and tender, is unique in America.” —Ilan Stavans, The Nation
“What makes [Baca’s poetry] a success is its honesty, a brutal honesty, as well as his original imagery and the passion of his writing.” —Gary Soto, The San Francisco Chronicle
“To read Jimmy Santiago Baca’s poetry is to tramp across the uneven terrain of human experience, sometimes lulled by the everydayness of work or relationships, and then dazzled by a flood of emotion or vibrant observation.” —Western American Literature