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Directions to the Beach of the Dead (Camino del Sol) Paperback – September 1, 2005


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Directions to the Beach of the Dead (Camino del Sol) + Looking for The Gulf Motel (Pitt Poetry Series) + City of a Hundred Fires (Pitt Poetry Series)
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Product Details

  • Series: Camino del Sol
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816524793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816524792
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #360,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Winner of the PEN Beyond Margins Award!"“Takes the reader on a splendid journey through time, love, family, and heritage.” —Multicultural Review“This heartfelt collection of poems is an endless pursuit of what we hope to become.” —Multicultural Review

About the Author

Richard Blanco’s first book, City of a Hundred Fires, won the University of Pittsburgh Agnes Starrett Prize in 1997. His work has appeared in many anthologies, including The Best American Poetry 2000. Blanco, who received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing in 1997, lives in Miami, where he works as an engineer and writes. He was selected as the 2013 Inaugural Poet by President Barack Obama.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Martin H. Dickinson on July 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
Blanco is the real deal. So much poetry today is bland, plain vanilla, like art that people walk by quickly in a museum to get to the gift shop or say they've been there. Blanco is anything but. Directions to the Beach, if anything, is even more fiery than his first volume, the award-winning City of a Hundred Fires. Blanco takes us everywhere--we are on a journey: through the Straits of Messina, to Paris, New York, Miami. We meet lovers (here you will find a series of "for" poems like no others--for M.C., C.S.B., B.L), friends, family members (my favorites: Abuelo and Abuela). Here are the things and stuff of poetry--a world like no other. America: give us a poetry that speaks to our finest sensibilities; that tells the truth about family, love, loss, beauty and joy. Give us the sensuous detail. Give us all of this in language (or rather languages--for what are our languages if not English and Spanish?). The leavened bread; the deep red wine.

Seek no further. Here it is.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Bernard McKenna on January 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Richard Blanco's Directions to the Beach of the Dead carries a moving recommendation on its cover from Sandra Cisneros, who writes of "feeling" that she "was trespassing on the intimate correspondence between a lover and a beloved." She also describes her desire "to be the receiver of such exquisite letters." Blanco's poetry inspires "intimate" and "personal" reactions. Students, who have studied his first book, City of a Hundred Fires (1997), speak to its "beauty" and "courage" and one student writes of a "personal engagement" with "people and places I've never met and never known." It is tempting then, as Sandra Cisneros does, to imagine ourselves "listening in" while Blanco engages his intimate other, but it is equally tempting to see ourselves as the receiver or even the sender of these letters. We find ourselves as active players within his poetry, imaginatively engaging the characters and places. In this sense then, Blanco's poetry is about engagement but also about absence; he creates a vulnerability in his writings within the strength and vitality of a language that is animate and alive. Blanco's work presents a curious paradox then: It possesses both a vulnerability and a strength, simultaneously open and exposed to emotional need and offering access to a force capable of coming to terms with such longing.

The volume's opening section offers glimpses into Blanco's travels in Rome, Venice, Barcelona, France, and Guatemala and Brazil. The collection's title poem instructs the reader on how to reach the "Beach of the Dead": "Go to Europe, go to Spain, in Barcelona, walk/under centuries hanging from the iron lamps" (ll 1-2). The poet then offers more personal suggestions for the journey: "Pull out your map, follow/the town's names lettered straight out to into the sea/ . . .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By I. Martinez on February 9, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Richard Blanco...what can I say? I love all of his prose and poetry. He is the pride of the Cuban community. Another beautiful work.
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By gigew on October 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Buffalo NY has a literary community and has a series called Babel - Richard Blanco the author is the first speaker - his poetry is amazing and I am anxious to hear him on the 22nd
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