Monday, February 20, 2017

A NEW BOOK OF POEMS BY BENJAMIN ALIRE SAENZ

—A Book of Poems—

Paperback 9781941026656
Distributed by Consortium Book Sales 
Paper with French Flaps: $16.95
Publishes June 13, 2017 

A gay Latino’s intimate journey through addiction, human desire and broken love.

Benjamin Alire Saenz—winner of the 2013 Pen/Faulkner Award for his collection of stories Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club and celebrated YA novelist—comes back to the discipline of poetry to reveal his troubled passage through a beautiful but disastrous love affair, fueled, in part, by good wine and bad drugs. This is a time of terrible violence—in the world, in Juárez a ten minute walk away from his home, and at the corner convenience store where the homeless shuffle about, sucking on quarts of beer and selling drugs. Yet, through the healing practice of writing and painting, the poet intuits the innocent core of being human, a place nourished by compassion, the imagination and the exquisite taste of the last cigarette on earth.



"Benjamin Alire Saenz's poems are ballads. They’re stories but they also have a whiff of the life sailing by from the car just passing with the radio on. It’s music in stores selling stuff and suddenly it’s inside your heart too painful to ignore. I love the honesty of this work and the sharp sweet reminder that we pick up art, our own and other people’s (including their tattoos) same way birds hold onto something inside and out to fly forward. His tunes are wild and brave.” —Eileen Myles, Poet and Novelist

From “He Leaves a Message in the Middle of the Night”

He loved beer and crack. He loved heroin, ecstasy, 
the sad music of the bars. He said he loved you too. You are
thinking of the night you met him. Late October
night, the breeze as soft as his black eyes. He was
so hungry for trouble. You were so hungry
for anything that resembled love. Your finger 
tracing the tattoos on his chest, you dreamed
of living in the prison of his arms. But you refused
to live in the prison of his deadly nights. You
can't survive without the morning
light. You repeat this again and again:
He's a man, not an illness. Tattoos and prison. 
Novels and poems. A bird can love a fish but they can't
live in your apartment. He called again last night
and left a message that was meant to wound.
He said: I want to know what you meant when
you said I love you. You said: I love you. I meant I love you.
He said: I want to know what you meant when
you said goodbye. You said: Goodbye. I meant goodbye.






Benjamin Alire Sáenz is one the country’s most celebrated Latino authors, with a wide range of audiences. He’s a poet, he writes prose for adults and teens, and he’s written very successful illustrated books for kids. His collection of stories Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club (Cinco Puntos) was the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the American Book Award for his books for adults and the Lambda Literary Award for Fiction. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Simon & Schuster) was a Printz Honor Book, the Stonewall Award winner, the Pura Belpre Award winner, the Lambda Literary Award winner. His first novel for teens, Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood (Cinco Puntos), was an ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults and a finalist forthe Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Please take a moment to review Ben's complete Cinco Puntos collection: illustrated children's books, poetry books, young adult novels and adult fiction. Ben is a proud fronterizo, a Chicano, and he lives in El Paso.

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