Luis Valadez is a performance poet and his poems shout to be read aloud. It's then that their language dazzles most brightly. It's then that the emotions bottled up on the page explode beyond words. And there is plenty of emotion in these poems. Frankly autobiographical, they recount the experiences of a Mexican American boy growing up in a tough town near Chicago. Just as in life, the feelings in these poems are often jumbled, sometimes spilling out in a tumble, sometimes coolly recollected. Sometimes the words jump and twitch as if they d been threatened or attacked. Sometimes they just sit there kwingly on the page, weighted down by the stark reality of it all.Jose Garciaput a thirty-five to memy mother was in the other roomHe would have done us bothif t for the lust of my fearThis new Mexican American/Chica voice is all at once arresting, bracing, shocking, and refreshing. This is t the poetry you learned in school. It owes as much to hip hop as it does to the can. But Valadez has paid his academic dues, and he certainly kws how to craft a poem. It's just that he does it his way.i anagram and look and subject to deformation and reconfiguring ...it ain t events or blocks that ahm jettisoning through this processit be layers of meaning, identity, narrative, and ego that gets peeled offi can only increase my own understanding
Luis H. Valadez received his B.A. from Columbia College Chicago and his M.F.A. from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. He is the winner of the Lily Endowment and a Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholar. His work has appeared in esteemed journals such as Columbia Poetry Review, Bombay Gin, and Wet: A Journal of Proper Bathing.