Luis J. Rodriguez
Books by this Author
It Calls You Back
Reading Group Guides
recommended reads and more from Simon & Schuster.
Recent Blog Posts
This poem first appeared June 18, 2016 on the L.A. Public Library website: http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/blogs/lapl/poem-new-dream
In the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub massacre, Orlando, Florida, June 12, 2016
Hate becomes death becomes hate.
The world unravels in fear.
Columbine: 13 students and a teacher gone.
Sandy Hook: 20 children and 6 adults murdered.
Charleston, North Carolina: 9 black churchgoers killed.
San Bernardino: 14 men and women destroyed.
This piece first appeared May 21, 2016 on the L.A. Public Library website: http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/blogs/lapl/%E2%80%9Cpoet-motion%E2%80%9D%E2%80%94north-carolina-and-transgender-justice
North Carolina has some of the most diverse terrain of any state—from the Great Smoky Mountains, which includes the Blue Ridge peaks of the massive Appalachian mountain range, to the Outer Banks on the Atlantic coast. The state is rich in bio-diversity, history, and people. North Carolina...
This piece first appeared April 19, 2016 at the L.A. Public Library website: http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/blogs/lapl/los-angeles-industry%E2%80%94where-past-and-future-collide
Any good craftsman carries his tools.
Years ago they were always at the ready.
In a car. In a knapsack.
Claw hammers, crisscrossed heads,
32 ouncers. Wrenches in all sizes,
sometimes with oil caked on the teeth.
Screwdrivers with multicolored plastic handles
(what needed screwing got screwed).
Below is the introduction by Luis J. Rodriguez to the newly released L.A.-area poetry anthology “Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts of Los Angeles,” featuring 160 poets andpublished by Tia Chucha Press, where Luis, the city’s Poet Laureate, has been founding editor for 27 years. The book is now available through Tia Chucha’s Cultural Center & Bookstore (www.tiachucha.org) in the San Fernando Valley and other book outlets. This anthology is a great...
This blogpost first appeared on March 2, 2016 on the Los Angeles Public Library website:http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/blogs/lapl/why-children-should-not-be-treated-adults-crimes
Walk with the young, America;
be young, again, America,
among the defiant and awake,
solid in their dreams.
Be the revolution in the marrow
where passions, ideals, fervors,
purpose and courage,
are not just qualities
people had in history books,
but what we have to possess everyday,
any time repression,...
This piece first appeared on January 21, 2016 on the Los Angeles Public Library website:http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/blogs/lapl/city-angels-city-poets
On historic Central Avenue near East 45th Street, the Vernon Branch Public Library looks like a jail—tall fences surround the circa 1915 building and a fenced walkway leads up to the doorway. Like the surrounding neighborhood, the library appears worn, beaten down. It’s situated on the edge of the high-crime Central-Alameda...
This homage to Native American poet and activist John Trudell originally appeared on December 14, 2015 at the L.A. Public Library website:http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/blogs/lapl/grandmothers-talking-my-time-and-teachings-john-trudell
We hear what you say
One Earth one Mother
One does not sell the Earth
The people walk upon
We are the land
How do we sell our Mother
How do we sell the stars
How do we sell the air…
Poet and activist John Trudell expressed...
This piece appeared November 24, 2015 at the blogpost of L.A. Poet Laureate Luis J. Rodriguez on the LA Public Library website:http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/blogs/lapl/every-road-should-come-end-place-called-home
Every road should come to this end:
A place called home.
When you don’t have one
the expanse of sky is your roof,
the vacant lots and sidewalks your living room.
Every city, your city.
When you speak, you speak for the country.
In the wrinkled faces and the sun-scarred...
Salinas community leaders welcome intervention expert Luis J. Rodriguez; Vow to target the roots of youth violence….
Over two nights, 40 grassroots leaders met with urban peace activist and author Luis J. Rodriguez. They came from all over Salinas as well as Castroville, Seaside and other Tri-County communities to the first gathering of the Salinas Area Youth Violence Intervention Project.
Salinas, California—On November 9 and 10, 2015, forty community leaders representing over half a dozen...
From the Los Angeles Public Library website:http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/blogs/lapl/what-latinx-heritage-month-means-me
In the United States, “Latinx Heritage Month” is celebrated from September 15 to October 15. This is a time to recognize and honor Latinx peoples, cultures, issues, contributions, and histories.
Yet this year Latinx Heritage Month is arriving with a backdrop of presidential nomination candidates attacking Latinx migration to this country, calling for billions of...
I’ve been a conscious revolutionary writer, thinker and organizer since 18 when I began to relentlessly remove myself from “La Vida Loca,” the Chicano gang life in an East L.A.-area gang, including drug addiction, violent acts and jail. I’m fortunate to have begun this difficult process at the right time, when my own internal development aligned with the social movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
My mentors were among the most radical members of the civil rights, anti-war and labor...
This piece was a blog post by Luis J. Rodriguez on June 23, 2015 as L.A.'s Poet Laureate for the LA Public Library's website. Here's link:http://www.lapl.org/collections-resources/blogs/lapl/trauma-transformation
The calling came to me while I languished
in my room, while I whittled away my youth
in jail cells and damp barrio fields.
It brought me to life, out of captivity,
in a street-scarred and tattooed place
I called body.
Until then I waited silently,
a deafening clamor in my head,