Cover image for Who will know us? : new poems
Who will know us? : new poems
Soto, Gary.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Chronicle Books, [1990]

Physical Description:
69 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3569.O72 W54 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Poems deal with dreams, mortality, violence, memories, marriage, parenthood, and nature.

Author Notes

Gary Soto was born April 12, 1952, and raised in Fresno California. He graduated from Roosevelt High School and attended Fresno City College, graduating in 1974 with an English degree. His poems have appeared in many literary magazines, including The Nation, Plouqhshares, The Iowa Review, Ontario Review and Poetry, which has honored him with the Bess Hokin Prize and the Levinson Award and by featuring him in Poets in Person. He is one of the youngest poets to appear in The Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry.

Soto has received the Discovery-The Nation Prize, the U.S. Award of the International Poetry Forum, The California Library Association's John and Patricia Beatty Award twice, a Recogniton of Merit from the Claremont Graduate School for Baseball in April, the Silver Medal from The Commonwealth Club of California, and the Tomás Rivera Prize, in addition to fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts twice, and the California Arts Council.

For ITVS, he produced the film The Pool Party, which received the 1993 Andrew Carnegie Medal. Soto wrote the libretto for an opera titled Nerd-landia for the The Los Angeles Opera. In 1999 he received the Literature Award from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, the Author-Illustrator Civil Rights Award from the National Education Association, and the PEN Center West Book Award for Petty Crimes. He serves as Young People's Ambassador for the California Rural Legal Assistance and the United Farm Workers of America.

Soto is the author of ten poetry collections for adults, with New and Selected Poems a 1995 finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the National Book Award. His recollections Living Up the Street received a Before Columbus Foundation 1985 American Book Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In his fifth collection, Soto turns his attention and sharply honed skill on childhood, religion, family life, and his travels, among other topics. His style is straightforward and down-to-earth, his manner genuine and relaxed, his voice quiet but assured, even when, as at the conclusion of the volume's title poem, he ruminates, "The train. Red coal of evil. / We are its passengers, the old and young alike. / Who will know us when we breathe through the grass?" Soto's work entices because of the ease with which it approaches, then deals with the most basic yet complex human experiences. In "Inventory of a Vacant Lot," for example, he speaks succinctly of the life force, simultaneously mysterious and frightening, benign yet aggressive: "The grass, once cornered by cement, / Now itches for life and feeds on the tiniest cracks." A master at discovering in ordinary, common, sometimes trite or comical situations the soul's struggle with the world, and with itself, Soto has few rivals on today's poetry scene. A must buy. --Jim Elledge

Library Journal Review

In this, his fifth collection, Soto's voice is heartfelt, rooted strongly by a sense of place. The place is California: ``Home is west,/ Further than the river/ Will reach, or clouds.'' Even the titles of these poems hint at their earthiness: ``Provisions,'' ``House, Street, Old Man,'' ``Friday Night Fish.'' In them Soto celebrates memory and everyday life: ``Dust is a faint aura of loss.'' Their metaphors are like magnets pulling you in: ``Her hands like doves/ On the encyclopedia, E-G.'' Conversational in tone, not academic in the least, these poems will have wide appeal. This collection, along with Francisco Alarcon's Body in Flames/Cuerpo en Llamas , marks this publisher's entry into poetry publishing. Highly recommended.-- Doris Lynch, Oakland P.L., Cal. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.