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Roots of a Thousand Embraces : Dialogues (Reissue) (Paperback) (Juan Felipe Herrera)
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"Juan Felipe Hererra’s writing fuses wide-ranging experimentalism with reflections on Mexican-American identity . . ."The New York Times
In 40 cantos, the poet explores the metaphysical relationship between Frida Kahlo, her art, her broken body, and cross-border consciousness. First published in 1994, this early workhis sixth book reveals a deep sense of longing for all to be made whole again in spite of fracturesphysical, metaphorical, culturalbestowed by the world.
From "Prologue: A Second Body":
Think on the time it takes a scar to heal,
a river to rise an old woman to regain the tumblingpowers of her busted arms a young woman (callingherself Frida) to re-structure her shattered vertebrae, tobe caught up with a body-cast, a second body which sheinhabits for the rest of her life; this is precious to me,that is all.
She painted herself somewhere in-between Mexico andthe United States in the open space of the jaws; betweenthe mandibles of the jaguar and the nuclear turbine.
It is the healing of this metaphysical fracture too (whichmay invoke further breakage) that concerns me.
Juan Felipe Herrera was raised in a farm-working family in the San Joaquin Valley. A graduate of UCLA, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Stanford University, he has written numerous books. Herrera’s awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the PEN USA Award. Former Poet Laureate of California and now United States Poet Laureate, he lives in Fresno.