An Incomplete List of Names: Poems

Michael Torres (Author) Raquel Rivera (Foreword by)
Available

Description

An astonishing debut collection looking back on a community of Mexican American boys as they grapple with assimilation versus the impulse to create a world of their own.

Who do we belong to? This is the question Michael Torres ponders as he explores the roles that names, hometown, language, and others' perceptions each play on our understanding of ourselves in An Incomplete List of Names. More than a boyhood ballad or a coming-of-age story, this collection illuminates the artist's struggle to make sense of the disparate identities others have forced upon him.

His description of his childhood is both idyllic and nightmarish, sometimes veering between the two extremes, sometimes a surreal combination of both at once. He calls himself "the Pachuco's grandson" or REMEK or Michael, depending on the context, and others follow his lead. He worries about losing his identification card, lest someone mistake his brown skin for evidence of a crime he never committed. He wonders what his students--imprisoned men who remind him of his high school friends and his own brother--make of him. He wonders how often his neighbors think about where he came from, if they ever do imagine where he came from.

When Torres returns to his hometown to find the layers of spray-painted evidence he and his boyhood friends left behind to prove their existence have been washed away by well-meaning municipal workers, he wonders how to collect a list of names that could match the eloquent truths those bubbled letters once secured.

Product Details

Price
$15.00  $13.80
Publisher
Beacon Press
Publish Date
October 06, 2020
Pages
128
Dimensions
5.4 X 8.4 X 0.5 inches | 0.45 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9780807046746
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Michael Torres was born and brought up in Pomona, CA, where he spent his adolescence as a graffiti artist. In 2019, he received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the Loft Literary Center for the Mirrors & Windows Program. His writing has been featured in POETRY, Ploughshares, and other literary journals. Currently, he teaches in the MFA program at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and through the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop. Connect with Michael at michaeltorreswriter.com.

Reviews

"In his magnificent enumerations; his allegiances; his ordeals of self, figure, and desire, Michael Torres gives us an uncharted and 'incomplete, ' ever-flaming matrix of being and becoming a brown man, a person in an unknown America. Incredible, truth-fisted, shattering, groundbreaking."
--Juan Felipe Herrera, poet laureate of the United States