Friday, September 18, 2009

Born in the Cavity of Sunsets Out This Month!

Bilingual Review Press
Hispanic Research Center, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 875303, Tempe, Arizona 85287-5303
Voice: (480) 965-3867, Fax: (480) 965-0315, Web:, E-mail:


Born in the Cavity of Sunsets
poetry by Michael Luis Medrano
$11.00, paper, ISBN 978-1-931010-66-5, 80 pp.

The Bilingual Review Press is pleased to announce the release of Michael Luis Medrano's first book of poetry, Born in the Cavity of Sunsets, a powerful and haunting collection written in the vein of such luminaries as Pablo Neruda and Allen Ginsberg. In these poems, Medrano shows us life in his hometown of Fresno, California, in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. There one can never see the actual moment when the sun slips beyond the horizon because too many buildings block the view. "In Fresno we don’t say, 'Let’s go watch the sun set,' like they do in San Diego," Medrano explains.

The poet's Fresno is not a bustling, vibrant place. Instead, we read of broken sidewalks, warring gangs, brothels, booze and despair. In edgy verse, Medrano reveals a world of shadow and sacrifice, but he also shows us light, hope and humor with a wry voice. Born in the Cavity of Sunsets is poetry for the people, but what a reader takes from it is up to the individual. "I’ve been told that these poems form an elegy, a letter. I've heard people say that there’s anger in this collection, that it’s embedded in generosity, that I’m a voice for the contemporary Chicana or Chicano and that I’m not," Medrano says. "All I know is that I’m a storyteller and these tales are told in a way that also pays homage to my own, personal rhythms as a poet. It’s language, breath, wisdom and reconciliation; it’s also light and shadow and sacrifice."

Michael Luis Medrano holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and he has performed his work at Stanford University, The Loft Literary Arts Center in Minneapolis and the University of Colorado, Boulder. He served as poetry editor for the literary journal Flies, Cockroaches, & Poets, is featured on the spoken word CD "The Central Chakrah Project" (Metamorfosis Productions) and has taught writing workshops in Fresno and Minneapolis. Once again based in Fresno, Medrano is teaching, hosting a literary radio show and writing a novel and a second collection of poetry.

"This collection is amazing. It soars, leaps, and also bows down to the earth and its dark bones. What I love about Medrano’s work is his sincerity and his touching reach, his tender voices. . . . Medrano is ahead of his cadre. His reach is expansive."
—Juan Felipe Herrera, University of California, Riverside

"Michael Medrano reawakens what it means to be a poet in America. As we go into a new century, it is this kind of poetry that is required reading. . . . When we close [his] book, we have reestablished who we are as citizens of a rich, poetic landscape."
—Ray Gonz├ílez, author of Consideration of the Guitar: New and Selected Poems

"Michael Medrano is an impressive voice—his poetry is witty and wry without losing any heart and soul. He vividly brings up stereotypes, then dashes them to pieces. . . . He takes you on journeys with a wink and a smile and his arm clasped around your back."
—Bao Phi, featured on HBO's Def Poetry

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