Jimmy Santiago Baca


Jimmy Santiago Baca is an award-winning poet, internationally known for his lyrical, politically charged verse. Of Apache and Chicano ancestry, at the age of twenty-one he was convicted on drug charges and spent six and a half years in prison, where he found his voice as a poet through correspondence with Denise Levertov of Mother Jones. His many books include the poetry collections C-Train and Thirteen MexicansHealing EarthquakesSet This Book on FireIn the Way of the SunBlack Mesa PoemsPoems Taken from My Yard, and What's Happening; a memoir,  A Place to Stand; a collection of stories and essays, Working in the Dark; a play, Los tres hijos de Julia; a screenplay, for the film Blood In Blood Out; and the novel A Glass of Water. He has published three ebooks with Restless Books: The Face and two Breaking Bread with the Darkness poetry volumes.

Baca is the winner of the Pushcart Prize, the American Book Award, the International Hispanic Heritage Award, and, for his memoir A Place to Stand, the prestigious International Award. Baca has devoted his post-prison life to writing and teaching others who are overcoming hardship. His themes include American Southwest barrios, addiction, injustice, education, community, love, and cultural difference. He has conducted hundreds of writing workshops in prisons, community centers, libraries, and universities throughout the country. More information is available at his website.