First gathering of the poetry of leading avant-garde Chicano poet
Xicancuicatl collects the poetry of leading avant-garde Chicanx poet Alfred Arteaga (1950–2008), whom French philosopher Gilles Deleuze regarded as "among those rare poets who are able to raise or shape a new language within their language." In his five published collections, Arteaga made crucial breakthroughs in the language of poetry, basing his linguistic experiments on the multilingual Xicanx culture of the US Southwest. His formal resources and finely tuned ear for sound patterns and language play remain astonishing. His poetical work, presented as a whole here for the first time, speaks more than ever to a moment in which border-crossing, cultural diversity, language-mixing and a multi-cultural vision of America are critical issues
Blue leaves, hojas rotas in the shape of stars.
Ni un "no" en tu vocabulario but for others;
blue in place of green in the shape of Spain.
Ojos the color of dirt, chocolate, coffee, time,
azules las horas, hojas de horas van y se van,
ni una palabra, ni una queja, nor broken bit
a tu lado beside me andamos walking, sí walking
caminamos caminos like these, such streets, what
"When the Greater American People (from Alaska to Patagonia) finally emerge, the world will point to cultural-political imaginations like Alfred Arteaga's as having been essential to that epic story. The scintillating linguistic achievements in these works urge us towards a post-national (post-surveillance) commons where intertwined destinies can freely sing and dance."~Rodrigo Toscano, author of Explosion Rocks Springfield
"Alfred Arteaga's poems have the courage of dislocation, moved in underworld descent, migration, prophecy, protest, starry skies, and heteroglossia. Gathered at last into a single book, Xicancuicatl is an epic cycle for our times."~Edgar Garcia, author of Skins of Columbus: A Dream Ethnography
"Xicancuicatl collects some of the most challenging and beautiful poetry from the last fin de siècle, but it does so without a whiff of museum mustiness because the topics and tactics engaged by Arteaga speak directly to a world energized by a new understanding of the urgency of addressing the social and political exigencies of race in poetry, and through poetic means."~Craig Dworkin, author of Dictionary Poetics: Toward a Radical Lexicography