Read Tijuana Book of the Dead by Luis Urrea Online


From the author of Pulitzer-nominated The Devil’s Highway and national bestseller The Hummingbird’s Daughter comes an exquisitely composed collection of poetry on life at the border. Weaving English and Spanish languages as fluidly as he blends cultures of the southwest, Luis Urrea offers a tour of Tijuana, spanning from Skid Row, to the suburbs of East Los Angeles, to theFrom the author of Pulitzer-nominated The Devil’s Highway and national bestseller The Hummingbird’s Daughter comes an exquisitely composed collection of poetry on life at the border. Weaving English and Spanish languages as fluidly as he blends cultures of the southwest, Luis Urrea offers a tour of Tijuana, spanning from Skid Row, to the suburbs of East Los Angeles, to the stunning yet deadly Mojave Desert, to Mexico and the border fence itself. Mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind, Urrea explores duality and the concept of blurring borders in a melting pot society....

Title : Tijuana Book of the Dead
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781619024823
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 208 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Tijuana Book of the Dead Reviews

  • Miriam
    2019-02-02 05:59

    --I don't believe anymore, I don't believe,I'm not convinced that the temple ever earned my heart,that life isn't better than this sacrifice,that I am a slave to be butchered,that I am born to die up there like my fatherswho built the temple with stoneson their backs:I cannot believenot for a minutethat I must submitand only ever hopeto leave behind methis poem.-from Teocalli Blues (for Santino Rivera)"Hymn to Vatos Who Will Never Be in a Poem" is a perfect end piece. Soundtrack suggested by "48 Roadsongs":Beau JocqueZydeco High RollersCaifanesWall of VoodooConcrete BlondeCafe TacubaCatherine WheelLove and RocketsMaldita VecindadLila Downs Tonantzin...and crickets singing Neruda

  • David Schaafsma
    2019-01-28 11:46

    This is a fine collection of poetry, ranging from stories of the past to contemporary rages against people who see children at the border and carrying signs that read, "Not my children. Not my problem." Urrea dedicates this book "For these children we have spit on. May they rise." And the best of these poems, infused with this rage, are like white hot righteous protests against the darkness. The loss of so many children to murders in gang wars, to prostitution, to anything, are also honored, the dead and damaged memorialized here, and these poems are somewhat balanced by what seem to be somewhat older poems about his years growing up in Mexico. The book, more spiritual than political, finally, is elegantly constructed to begin with an exordium, "Ye Who seek Grace From a Distracted God" about these children and those that spit upon them. There are lamentations, there are blues poems, haiku, songs of praise, there are reminiscences about his own youth, about growing up writing poetry. The book ends with "Hymn to Vatos who will Never be in a Poem," which is wonderful, a positive embrace. The best poems for me are the white hot ones, the ones infused by that righteous rage, and the luminous book title poem, "The Tijuana Book of the Dead" which is an homage to that town, to Mexico, to his ancestors there, to all the lost children he knew and grew up with and worked with. Bury me in Tijuana, he says. A wonderful collection with soul, calling us out to love.

  • Jlf888
    2019-02-13 10:42

    Visceral, whether in English or Spanish. Too hard, at times, to face, which makes you realize you must face it. A stanza from one of my favorites, Lines for Neruda:The first poem I readwas the ragged V scrawledin a brown sky by gullsescaping the garbage dump at sunsetcutting under cloudsover the apartment blocksgoing to a sea I knewwas there across the citybut never saw.So much justice and so much gut here.

  • Tara Schaafsma
    2019-01-21 11:43

    Great poetry! The first few really moved me--made me angry, so I couldn't read them before bed. Lots of good imagery.

  • Lauren
    2019-01-24 11:58

    An exquisite collection by Luis Alberto Urrea. There was some very heavy and disturbing material in the first couple of poems (human trafficking, abuse), and l proceeded cautiously - but many other poems are lighter in nature: landscapes, travel, and observations. The sprawling "16Lanes" details growing up, bowling alleys, and his father.DefinitionIllegal alien, adj./n.A term by which An invading colonial forceVilifiesIndigenous culturesBy identifying them as An invading colonial forceMajority of the poems are in English, a few in Spanish. Urrea is a superb writer and I'm looking forward to reading his novels and literary nonfiction.

  • Keith
    2019-02-18 09:48

    Border poetry to memorialize the oppression ofThe Cartel, the last book I read.Reminiscent of Richard Brautigan. Here's part of one, most are not as dark as this.Siege CommuniquéIn Tijuana. they said Juárez was the pueblo where oldwhores went to die, where25 cents bought fleshby the river, nobody loved you, Sister—so close to Texastso far fromRevolución.Today, they sayyou are the cementerioof hope: the only cropin your garden of RíoGrande mud is bullets,is machetes, isacid baths for bones,choruses of prayersfrom those in torture church.Hermanita of PerpetualSorrow, what flowersdo we hand you—wewho die now too.We who dangle nudeand burned from bridges . . . . .

  • Rubi
    2019-01-27 09:46

    The poetry in this collection was very diverse. The structure of the poems were unique and they altered in each individual poem. The structure often alters more than once in one poem. I felt a wide range of emotions while reading this collection: sadness, happiness, hope, and longing. The characters/stories presented are all unique. There is Mexican imagery and American imagery. The book not only portrays what it's like to live in a border town, but it complicates the idea of a border town. It demonstrates the political tensions between Mexicans and Americans in a very straight forward, but still captures the emotions in dangerous rhetoric.My favorite poem is the title poem, "The Tijuana Book of the Dead". As a Chicana reader, I understand the longing of wanting to return to a country/custom/religion of your ancestors.

  • Caroline Anna Bock
    2019-02-16 04:35

    In honor of National Poetry Month this April, I picked up this engrossing book of poetry at the library-- and I highly recommend it from the opening poem, "You Who See Grace from a Distracted God" about a working man or women's plight told in long, hypnotizing phrases to "Incident Report" about being a Mexican immigrant in a public library, these poems speak to now. They are about: immigrants, the dispossessed, all of us who struggle to make sense, make a living, made a life, in America. I salute this poet, not just for challenging the status quo with his work, but for the vibrancy of his language, the beauty of his words in the face of an often ugly world.

  • Melissa
    2019-02-10 09:02

    Contemporary poetry is always a hard read for me - I'm one of those weirdos who actually likes rhyme schemes, poetic forms, etc - but this collection from Urrea is wonderful. Bleak, hopeful, brutal, sarcastic, truthful, and one 22page poem about a bowling alley (or his dad?). Several poems are entirely in Spanish, I was able to pick through them but I definitely missed things in those poems. I heard echoes of things I've heard him say during interviews. Beautiful

  • Julie Sherwood
    2019-02-18 05:03

    Tijuana Book of the Dead is incredible. The poems ranged from funny to beautiful to sad to contemplative. There's something for all tastes. I found myself rushing to "Google Translate" to understand the Spanish ones - it makes me want to learn Spanish! I'm kind of picky about poetry. Some poets are too ethereal to be coherent, but these poems have feet. They are grounded in real life and all of them give you something to think about. I would highly recommend it.

  • Alix
    2019-02-19 11:58

    Bury meAmong tired menWho smell too badTo enter banks.Bury meBeside WomenOld at 23Who stoopTo garbage gardensTo pull bonesFrom the ruinsFor soup.Bury meAmong childrenYou have spit onIn fieldsOf shattered glass.Pick there for my nameLike the ibisAfter mustard seeds.Give me backTo the poor.So much identity inside a little book. Probably one of the best poetry collections I've read in a while.

  • Linda
    2019-01-29 05:37

    Having recently moved to Texas, I wanted to get acquainted with new poets living and/or writing about the Southwest, especially the towns bordering Mexico. I happened upon this book in the library and took it home. Let me say that I loved it. Urea's poems can make you laugh and make you cry. This collection made me want to go out and read everything else he's ever written. Thumbs up for me.

  • Francisco Vargas
    2019-02-14 09:56

    I'm not a big fan of the author in general but like this volume of poetry the use of Spanglish read much more fluid than his novels. much more from the heart. I'm sure these are relatos he "borrowed" from Tijuana residents but nonetheless they touching.

  • Ann
    2019-02-09 09:46

    Just discovered this poet. Love love love this.

  • SAPL Christina
    2019-02-14 06:00

    Beautiful. For the tatted up vato in his slaughterhouse boots on the #42 that always watched out for me even if he never said a word.I love you

  • Annie
    2019-01-31 07:02

    Luis never fails to move me. Lyrical, magical... this is one I will go back to.

  • Karen
    2019-02-11 10:52

    There are some fierce poems here - full of grit, dirt, desert, those who live in the margins. I liked these best - listen, siege communique, typewriter, definition, and hymn to vatos who will never be in a poem. There is a commitment to not letting people, places, moments disappear. They defy those who would displace people as "other." Needed poetry.

  • Raine
    2019-01-27 08:52

    As much as I love poetry, I've always been slow in reading it. I just can't turn the pages the way I do with prose. This book of poetry, though—I couldn't set it down. Manages to capture something I can't quite put into words. Longing, loss, violence, ugliness, and in the midst of all of it—still he conveys a sense of hope, beauty, and love. Particularly poignant if you share his experiences and have known (or been) the people he writes about. To see them in a poem for the first time is an incredible thing.