Poets I love: VallejoNerudaLorcaBorgesMachadoJimenezWhitmanPazRumiKabirFaiz HafizAnwarSnyderAkhmatovaBrodskyRilkeetc.
Influences on my writing: my father, a Baptist minister who brought Christ, religion and poetry into my life and never tired of writing love poems to Mother. Mother, who gave me Steinbeck, Marquez, London, and Hemingway, and had a faith to move mountains; my grandmother a curandera who lived her life amongst the spirits and gave Juarez, Barbas de Oro, meaning; my grandfather who worked from sunrise to sunset and still found time to drink, womanize, and brawl (ours was a love/hate thing).
"I was raised in a farming and ranching community in Texas, but my father’s ministry led him to the tough streets of the Chicago area and I followed his path. These two very different dynamics also color my writing, and when I marry them, it can be very powerful. Still, for me it’s like singing blues or gospels, they’re different in their ethics, but both birthed from the well of longing and sorrow.