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RED HOT SALSA by Lori marie Carlson


Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States

edited by Lori marie Carlson

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-8050-7616-6
Publisher: Henry Holt

A decade after Cool Salsa (1994), Carlson has collected a new generation of voices. Thirty-eight poems in English and in Spanish reintroduce poets from her earlier collection (Gina Valdés, Trinidad Sánchez, Jr., Luis Rodríguez) and debut many new ones. Divided into themed sections (language, identity, neighborhoods, etc.) the poems elicit not just the particulars of people and place, but of being an adolescent. Some of the best poems play with language, much of which is sadly lost in translation (Michele Serros’s imagined epitaph in “Dead Pig’s Revenge”: “Chicharrones Choke Chicana Child to Death (in Chino)” in Spanish just lies on the page like a dead pig). Nevertheless, the translations add an essential dimension to the book—a sense of an inclusive and diverse community—and Carlson leaves a handful of the untranslatable ones untouched, as Sacinto Cardona’s “women who weep into their huiples” in “Tumbling Through My Tumbaburro.” Biographical notes on the poets, and an introduction by Oscar Hijuelos round out this volume that will be appreciated by any young writer. (Poetry. 12+)