Ron Slate's blog

on About My Life and the Kept Woman, a memoir by John Rechy (Grove Press)

The power and deceptions of identities, perceived and assumed, have long been preoccupations of John Rechy. Born in El Paso in 1934, he grew up in a segregated city where Latino families lived on one side of the tracks. His mother was Mexican.

on Poet in New York, poems by Federico García Lorca, tr. by Pablo Medina and Mark Statman (Grove Press)

In the months and years after the murder of Americans and nationals in the destruction of the World Trade Center, poets Medina and Statman discovered in Lorca’s Poet in New York “the range of emotions we ourselves felt and images strangely reminiscent of the ones we witnessed on September 11 and its aftermath.” Soon after, they began collaborating on a new translation of Lorca’s m

on The Gift by Lewis Hyde (Vintage Books, 25th anniversary edition)

I received my copy of The Gift as a gift from a poet friend, David Clewell, in 1983. Poets have been passing the book around for 25 years for two main reasons. First, there is the book's advocacy for the creative economy, the notion that the gift of art (“no effort in the world can cause its initial appearance”) flows between us as an energizing, mysterious force.

on "Constantine’s Sword," a film by James Carroll and Oren Jacoby (Storyville Films)

My mother and maternal grandparents were Jewish holocaust survivors, repetitive in their reminiscences. I grew up with knowledge that the world is visited by pervasive terror. The survivors are fated to live with a looming story. This world-quality extended into my adulthood.

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