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Lost: Children of the River (Volume 4) Paperback – February 5, 2016
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"My students have really resonated with Lost, even some with more ambivalent feelings about immigration have been touched by this collection."
From the Author
The cover of this anthology was accomplished using a painting by the Mexican artist Maestro Jose G. Cano. It is titled "De Sur a Norte." Although it wraps around the book it is representative of about 75% of the actual painting. Other themes and representations in an early version that was shown to the editors included a depiction of Hilary Clinton, an apparent reference to the ex-presidential candidate representing a source of hope for immigrants seeking refuge. The way the painting was conceptualized was by a series of sit-downs between the artist Maestro Cano and one of the editors, Gabriel H. Sanchez. The editor spoke with several artists about the idea of a painting representing the themes associated with the trek from Central America to the United States. Those themes being "La Bestia" (or the Beast), the Rio Grande River, and the god Quetzalcoatl, hence the train on the painting is seemingly being transformed into a serpent. Maestro Jose Cano was the one who most closely executed the idea for the cover of the book, and his work was selected for publication. We thank all artists without whose work a book would lack much of its appeal.
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The introduction and an additional essay were revelatory to me about recent efforts, at churches in my own vicinity, to address the humanitarian aspect of the issue. Volunteers at these churches have offered relief to folks who are refugees, as I’ve come to learn -- some being mere children essentially on their own. Some have died along their journey, as I was reminded by one poem – a poignant ode to a real-life teen that died crossing the border desert.
A number of poems are entirely in Spanish, thus some knowledge of the language helps. Though modern poetry in general is still difficult for me to grasp, one poet’s entry in this book effectively compelled me to see how these refugees end up not only demonized upon arrival, but even used -- or ignored -- as deemed politically expedient. Another entry pointed out for me the astonishing irony of how such folks seek only a bit of what was stolen from their own Native American ancestors!