Skip to content

Victor Hernández Cruz completed his first collection of verses, Papa Got His Gun, and Other Poems (1966), in his teens and published Snaps (Random House) at age 20. His other works include Mainland (1973), Tropicalizations (1976), By Lingual Wholes (1982), Rhythm, Content, and Flavor: New and Selected Poems (1989), Red Beans: Poems (Coffee House Press, 1991), and Panoramas (Coffee House Press, 1997). He edited the anthology Paper Dance: 55 Latino Poets. In addition, he has edited Umbra magazine in New York, lectured at the University of California, Berkeley and taught at San Francisco State University. Among his numerous awards are a Fulbright Scholarship, the Guggenheim Fellowship and the New York Poetry Foundation Award. Born in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico, Cruz, who writes in English and Spanish, moved with his family to New York City in 1954. He presently lives in Puerto Rico.

Maraca

Coffee House Press
2002 Shortlist
United States

Judges’ Citation

Victor Hernández Cruz has long been the defining poet of that complex bridge between the Latino and mainland cultures of the U.

Victor Hernández Cruz has long been the defining poet of that complex bridge between the Latino and mainland cultures of the U.S. Maraca New and Selected Poems 1965-2000 proves the extraordinary range of this great, enduring poet, whose articulately persuasive humor and intelligence bear persistent witness to a meld of peoples: ‘All the exile from broken/ South/ The horses the cows/ the chickens/ The daisies of the rural/ road/ All past tense in the urbanity/ that/ remembers/ The pace of the mountains/ The moods of the fields.’ Bringing together long out-of-print work and that most recent, Maraca is testament to its author’s singular genius in a world he maintains so compassionately for all who will share it with him.