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187 Reasons Mexicanos Can't Cross the Border: Undocuments 1971-2007 Paperback – November 1, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Herrera is . . . a sometimes hermetic, wildly inventive, always unpredictable poet, whose work commands attention for its style alone. . . ." -- The New York Times Book Review

About the Author

JF Herrera has received numerous awards and fellowships The author of 21 books, including fourteen collections of poetry, prose, short stories, young adult novels and children's book, he is also a community arts leader, working with at-risk youth and migrant communities. He is also a dynamic performer and actor who has appeared on stage and in film.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: City Lights Publishers; 1St Edition edition (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872864626
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872864627
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
187 Reasons Mexicanos Can't Cross the Border contains amazing poetry, anti-poetry, narratives and short stories of Herrera's works for over 35 years. This book gathers the "undocuments" from 1971-2007, and reading it you can watch the history of the Mexicano unfold before you, it is as though Herrera has painted a wall, a wall of graffiti. Art many willingly accept yet others will walk right past never daring to look too hard. This wall is sometimes disjointed, uncomfortable, and awkward, but that is the life of the Mexicano in this world, and that is the beauty of the picture Juan Felipe Herrera lays before his readers. Also like a graffiti wall in that you get little snippets of love and hate, of peace, of war, of pride and self-consciousness. Each story or poem gives glimpses, which alone would be beautiful, but in this compilation they become completed as all together they form a whole. Reading through the undocuments, some really captured me, drove me to a new level of compassion and understanding, while others were most likely targeting someone else. Just as walking through an art exhibit some pieces you cannot tear yourself from, others you barely notice...and understand that each viewer/ reader will take home a completely different experience. Herrera will meet you where you are. He will challenge you at the place you now find yourself.

Herrera goes beyond these borders and also captures the relations between the landinos and the indios of Mexico and the full America Latina. He goes out of his way to show us the differences, the similarities, and the life, that if we are not living are not aware of the difficulty that comes with it. Yet, this is not only a text full of sadness, pain and suffering, it is just as full of pride, loyalty, love, and acceptance.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Aware, phosphorescent and immediate, this is language brilliantly engaged. Juan Felipe Herrera is simultaneous lighthouse and lightning, the flash that carries the warning and the live wire. For three decades now Herrera's hot-colored Surrealism has transmitted one of the strongest border radio signals of alt-poetics from the Mission District to St. Mark's Poetry Project, from the Taos Poetry Circus to Bisbee, from the first Floricantos of the Bay Area or cross-border exchanges in Tijuana and D.F., Chiapas and Yucatan to San Diego, L. A., Austin and beyond. This poetics makes a practice of making a difference. Here available together for the first time are wide-ranging selections from dozens of Herrera's outstanding `experimental' mixed-genre books, many of which had eccentric or limited original distribution. Contextualized with photos, historical notes and chronology, 187 Reasons serves up both continental panorama and meta-document in the practice of a poetics that comes alive with startling vitality---across borders of political silence and censorship of the Other, semiotic deserts and actual killing fields.
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Format: Paperback
This is a review of the title - poem of this collection which I heard Herrerra read. I found it to be full of inventiveness, humor, and surprise. It is rich in ideas and informed by a spirit of strong identification with the Mexican- American reality, and the injustices the author feels this community suffers. The work has liveliness and wit. I say this without endorsing the political views of the author which I sense are very strongly left- wing and perhaps anti- U.S. government of any kind.
I did have a problem with understanding the work as I do not know Spanish and the work is filled with Mexican colloquialisms. I suppose the ones who can truly read and most enjoy this work are those fluent in English and Spanish and strongly identify with the Mexican- American community.
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is brilliant, beautiful.

My favorite writing mentor recommended this book as containing great list poems. Honestly, Herrera should be taught in more classes, read by more people...
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