Dark and Perfect Angels

Benjamin Alire Saenz, Author, Benjamin Alire SC!Enz, Author, Benjamin Alire Senz, Author
Benjamin Alire Saenz, Author, Benjamin Alire SC!Enz, Author, Benjamin Alire Senz, Author Cinco Puntos Press $11.95 (130p) ISBN 978-0-938317-23-4
Paperback - 978-0-913089-39-2
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Saenz's second book of poetry (Calendar of Dust won an American Book Award in 1992) moves through the vast and sometimes boggy territory of his Southwestern heritage. Constructed as a memorial for family and friends and as a view of the often weird intermingling of Anglo, Hispanic and Indian cultures, the collection inhabits a liminal space between cultures and times. There are the sharply drawn elements of memory: kitchens, cane fields, laundry, the ubiquitous bottle and articles of Catholic ritual with which the author, a former priest, is so familiar. These elements go a long way toward telling an engaging story, but there is confusion and inexactitude where the formal requirements of poetry are concerned. The book abounds in free-verse forms, none of which seem specifically suited to the author's unsparing, generally powerful voice. (Aug.)
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