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New Release
When I Walk Through That Door, I Am
an immigrant mother's quest for freedom

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.

SIgned copies of this publication are available at Bookworks Albuquerque for purchase. Support small bookstores by ordering from Bookworks today!

A Place To Stand

Jimmy Santiago Baca's harrowing, brilliant memoir of his life before, during, and immediately after the years he spent in a maximum-security prison garnered tremendous critical acclaim and went on to win the prestigious 2001 International Prize. Long considered one of the best poets in America today, Baca was illiterate at the age of twenty-one and facing five to ten years behind bars for selling drugs. A Place to Stand is the remarkable tale of how he emerged after his years in the penitentiary -- much of it spent in isolation -- with the ability to read and a passion for writing poetry. A vivid portrait of life inside a maximum-security prison and an affirmation of one man's spirit in overcoming the most brutal adversity, A Place to Stand "stands as proof there is always hope in even the most desperate lives" -- (Fort Worth Morning Star-Telegram).

A Glass of Water

Award-winning memoirist, poet, and activist, Jimmy Santiago Baca has established himself as an inspiring and important spokesperson for the Chicano experience, continually giving voice to the voiceless. His first novel, A Glass of Water is a gripping tale of family, loyalty, ambition, and revenge that takes us inside the tragedies unfurling along our country’s borders. Having made the nearly deadly journey across the border from Mexico, Casimiro and Nopal spend their days in the chili fields, building a life for their young sons. But when Nopal is brutally murdered, the boys are left to navigate this capricious new world without her. The elder son, Lorenzo, follows his father’s footsteps, devoting himself to the land, and falling in love with a strong-minded young woman who’s come to their migrant camp to study the lives of its workers. But Vito, hot-blooded and restless, breaks away to find fame as an itinerant boxer, gaining notoriety inside the ring and out. Eventually, the brothers’ journeys converge, bringing them face to face with a common enemy. A Glass of Water is a searing, heartfelt tribute to brotherhood, and an arresting portrait of the twisted paths people take to claim their piece of the American dream.

Feeding the Roots of Self Expression

Jimmy Santiago Baca collaborated with two National Writing Project Fellows and literacy professionals, Kym Sheehan (Florida) and Denise VanBriggle (Pennsylvania) on his latest teaching tool, Feeding the Roots of Self-Expression and Freedom. Using poems from Baca’s incarceration as a young man, Sheehan and VanBriggle have crafted curricular activities and probing questions designed to take readers on a personal journey plumbing both the depths of pain and the promise of joy. You can purchase a hard copy of the book at BOOKWORKS ALBUQUERQUE by clicking below. This title is also available as an ebook at a discounted price.

Adolescents on the Edge: Stories and Lessons to Transform Learning

Fusing Jimmy Santiago Baca's talents as a writer of memoir with ReLeah Cossett Lent's expertise in building and empowering classroom communities, Adolescents on the Edge offers a completely new approach to reaching at-risk adolescents. Centered around conflicts and life-altering choices, Baca's gripping personal narratives-delivered through short stories and live-from-the-classroom videos-will resonate with students and provide rich opportunities for them to reflect on their own decision making. Through these stories and their accompanying activities, students witness the power of literacy and learn that their power, too, lives in the words they speak, write, and share with others.

Stories from the Edge

Stories from the Edge enriches and extends Jimmy Santiago Baca's critically acclaimed memoir, A Place to Stand. Early stories elaborate on his travails as an abandoned child in an orphanage. Later stories draw on Baca's post-prison life as a writer and his ongoing work with struggling adolescents, prisoners, and society's dispossessed. Centered around conflicts and life-altering choices, Baca's gripping personal narratives will resonate with adolescents and adults alike.

Breaking Bread with the Darkness: Book 1: The Esai Poems

The Esai Poems is the first of four books under the series title of Breaking Bread with the Darkness by American Book Award recipient Jimmy Santiago Baca. The Esai poems are a poignant blend of Baca's wonder of his and his partner's newborn son, and the thoughts and observations of the world he will be inheriting, includlding, including war, racism, indifference and greed. Through Esai the wonder-struck new father explores the idealic world of his family through Esai's new eyes, "He studies his hands as if they are newly discovered planets . . .” but realizing the harsh realities of our times adds perspective with juxtapositions: "I'll wait to tell him how in some places armies cut off the hands of rebels...” Written as a series of thematically connected and dated poems, moving back and forth between ideas, The Esai Poems are some of Baca's strongest poetic work. Already father of two grown sons, Baca explors the implications of beginning another family with another woman.

Singing at the Gates: Selected Poems

Award-winning writer Jimmy Santiago Baca, a vital voice in American poetry, weaves personal and political threads to create a pertinent and poignant narrative infused with vigor and passion, emotional grace and vivid sensory detail. Singing At The Gates is a collection of new and previously published poems that reflect back over four decades of Baca’s life. These are poems that revitalize the national dialogue: raging against war and imprisonment, celebrating family and the bonds of friendship, heightening appreciation for and consciousness of the environment. A career-spanning selection, it includes his early work as a budding poet, written while serving a five-year prison sentence; poems drawn from Baca’s first chapbook; and recent pieces meditating on the significance of breaking through oppression.Singing at the Gates displays the breadth and depth of Baca's poetic power—with irreverent charm and disarming freedom of mind and soul. The vital pulse of love abiding in these poems will affirm and reaffirm, for both longtime and newfound readers, his devotion to truth and beauty.

Winter Poems Along the Rio Grande

A romantic and a populist, Jimmy Santiago Baca celebrates nature and creativity: the power of "becoming more the river than myself" in Winter Poems Along the Rio Grande. These poems are an expansive meditation on Baca's spiritual life, punctuated always with his feetrepeatedly, rhythmicallyon the ground as he runs every morning along the river. Baca contemplates his old life, his new love, his family and friends, those living and those dead, injustices and victories, and Chicano culture. As Denise Levertov remarked, Baca "writes with unconcealed passion" and "manifests both an intense lyricism and that transformative vision which perceives the mythical and archetypal significance of life events."

Rita and Julia

An extraordinary collection of poetry that takes the reader from the depths of despair through outrage, to transcendent joy. In this searingly intense collection of poems, Baca inhabits the subjects of his poems and makes them sing. Special Order - Price and Availability Subject to Change.

The Heat: Steelworker Lives & Legends

A collection of short stories written by steelworkers under the guidance of award-winning poet Jimmy Santiago Baca. These voices of the working class describe what it's like to spend a lifetime in the shadow of America's steel mills. The Heat offers a rare last glimpse inside the huge, old abandoned plants that now litter the rust-belt landscape.

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