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Books

Shift Your Paradigm

Jimmy Santiago Baca to appear at Bookworks

I want to tell you:

don't lie! If you're going to read a poem

about a kid getting his head blown off,

don't raw jaw your cotton-tipped tongue

to gain the sugary aplomb and donut favor

of English Department heads, who like you

and never scavenged food from dumpsters, who like you

and never stood in welfare lines, who like you

while gleaning misery topics from The New York Times.

–excerpt from “Set This Book on Fire!”

Jimmy Santiago Baca is one of New Mexico's treasures—the living, breathing kind. Born in Santa Fe, he spent five years in prison back in the '70s on drug charges. Since then, with as words sharp and clear as a knife, he's become an award-winning poet and a powerful voice for social justice.

His new collection of selected poems, Singing at the Gates, opens with an author's note that delves energetically into his broken youth, how his “work with words, like a blacksmith on his anvil, was slowly breaking the tangible attachments to my criminal and illiterate past and creating—through writing and language and reading books—a paradigm shift.” For anyone who's ever had their life changed through art or words, Jimmy Santiago Baca is a poet that speaks your language. See him at Bookworks tomorrow at 3pm.

Jimmy Santiago Baca Reading

Saturday, Jan. 4, 3pm

Bookworks
4022 Rio Grande NW
bkwrks.com, 344-8139