Cover image for Maraca : new & selected poems, 1966-2000
Maraca : new & selected poems, 1966-2000
Cruz, Victor Hernández, 1949-
Publication Information:
Minneapolis, MN : Coffee House Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
300 pages ; 25 cm
1966 -- Papo got his gun -- 1967-1968 -- Snaps (1969) -- Mainland (1973) -- Tropicalization (1976) -- 1978-1990 -- Lingual wholes (1982) -- Red beans (1991) -- 1993 -- Letters from the island (1995-2000) -- Espanol caribe (1996-1999) -- Panoramas (1997) -- Seeds (1996-2000).

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3553.R8 M37 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Dancing in your hands, Panoramas illuminates Latin American/Caribbean culture in the U.S. and abroad.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Celebrated for creating poetry that is a collision of the sounds, tensions and flavors of New York and Puerto Rico, Cruz achieves a musical vitality that surpasses any of his other volumes. Like a salsa band leader coaxing and challenging dancers to more and more complex steps, Cruz dares readers with dizzying polyrhythms, polymetric stanzas, backstepping word structures and a sense of improvisation: "Humid women in plaza dance/ Tongues out of mouth/ At the men who jump in the shadows/ Panama hats transmitting/ Towards the radar/ of the waist." While the verses pulse with a cross-cultural harmony of Caribbean and Lower East Side beats, the language approximates the emotional sphere of themes in rumba lyrics: "Machetes taking off like helicopters/ Chopping off branches for timbale sticks." But topics don't stop at the tropical; poems like "It's Miller Time" and "If You See Me in L.A. It's Because I'm Looking for the Airport" cover the ways in which life in the Americas can converge. Several lengthy narratives in the form of letters reveal Cruz's inspiration‘from musical influences to his family's literary oral traditions. Seven poems presented in Spanish highlight Cruz's bilingual talent. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This book, a poetic quintet offering both prose and poetry, develops a set of variations around the themes of displacement and bilingualism. The opening autobiographical essay, "Home Is Where the Music Is," leads into the second segment, "The Age of Sea Shells Revisited," the focus of which is the clash of cultures. The staccato rhythms of the third set, "Pana/Ramas," conjure up the spirit of Cruz's Puerto Rican homeland, from which he emigrated as a lad. In the fourth section, the poet defends his Spanishness and ars poetica ("Poetry is a river in the language. Paddle and you will get there") and recapitulates the theme of migration from his earlier Red Beans (LJ 10/1/91). The poems of the coda, "Primer Sonido," are entirely in Spanish. A mood of gentle satire and witty wordplay ("The past in the smoke of the cigar,/ Bringing the future information") further bond the pieces. Cruz has a message, and his voice should be heard.‘Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC Lib., Dublin, Ohio (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.