After Aztlan: Latino Poets of the Nineties

After Aztlan: Latino Poets of the Nineties

After Aztlan: Latino Poets of the Nineties

After Aztlan: Latino Poets of the Nineties

Excerpt

After Aztlan gathers some of the best contemporary Chicano and Puerto Rican poets writing in the United States today. Their work portrays the current state of Latino writing and shows that these writers have created a complex, vibrant literature. They come from varied backgrounds, but their diverse voices share the common concerns of all Latino writers--finding ways to overcome political barriers placed upon them, preserving the traditions of a culture that stresses close familial ties, and most of all, showing how Hispanic literature has become a true part of "mainstream" American arts and letters.

The contributors of this anthology contributed to the evolution of Hispanic literature through their commitment to the form of poetry, their national accomplishments beyond initial publication in small presses, and their prolific body of work during a period when multicultural literature and writers enjoy their largest audience and readership. As poets coming into their own in the eighties and nineties, they have gone beyond the earlier notoriety of Chicano and Puerto Rican literature of the sixties and seventies, when political chaos and social change first brought together the work of Latinos, African Americans, and Native Americans.

Today's Latino writers are sustaining the legacy of this coalition and of authors such as Alurista, Ricardo Sanchez, Lalo Delgado, Oscar Zeta Acosta, José Montoya, and other poets and activists of the sixties who were some of the first writers to present alternatives to the established literary canon of this country. By writing poems and stories straight out of the barrio, reciting their work before mass rallies, and photocopying poetry pamphlets in editions of several thousand, these earlier poets influenced Latino writers who would take off in the midseventies.

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