in support of Luis J. Rodriguez' work
Rodriguez dives into the human heart & conveys those small
hard-to-describe glimpses of the human spirit in transition
& change. He exhumes from the human experiences what we
try to forget and offers it to the reader, still breathing
& alive & meaningful. His voice is on the verge of
a day break." -Jimmy
Santiago Baca, poet, author of Writing in the Dark
account of his coming of age is vivid, raw...fierce, and fearless.
Here's truth no television set, burning night and day, could
ever begin to offer. -Gary
Soto, New York Times Book Review
Luis Rodriguez, for the beauty of a strong singular voice.
-Piri Thomas, author of Down These Mean Streets
Runningis an absolutely unique work, richly literary and
poetic, yet urgent and politically explosive at the same time...
a permanent testament to human courage and transcendence.
-Jonathan Kozol, author of Amazing Grace
Rodriguez is the poet laureate of the barrio.
Torres, award-winning radio journalist and broadcaster
never lets us forget where we need to go together.
National Catholic Reporter
Rodriguez' memoir Always Running takes place... before
the '92 L.A. riots only makes this beautifully written and
politically astute account more compelling. -Entertainment
Running is extraordinarily haunting and evocative. -The
Washington Post Book World
all, Rodriguez' poems, the sense of place is palpable and
becomes essentially a fully developed voice in and of itself.
proven commitment to healing and justice for his community
gives his writing authenticity and thus authority. -Sojourners
paints poems so reader-friendly, and then, on second and third
read, the weight and depth and message of the words sinks
Running stands out as one of the most significant coming-of-age
stories of our time. -El
by Luis J. Rodriguez for Erik Shager's
Class Graduates at University of Wisconsin, Madison
never made it through college. In fact, the first time I wore
a cap and gown on stage I was 40 years old. A Chicago community
college invited me to do their commencement talk one year.
Everyone, including the speakers, had caps and gowns. And
it seemed odd. Yet, in some way, it was right.
I didn't go through college, but through my work, writing,
talks, and commitments, I've gained an intellectual, literary,
and revolutionary life. What some people call conscious life
activity. Still, I honor those who have continued their education
and passed the milestones.
I read all the time -tons of books, magazines and papers.
I'm always ready to learn new things. Yet here's something
to take into account: I've met people who have graduated from
college, gone to law school even, and after they're through
will never again pick up a book. Something about university
and college programming -especially if the goal is to only
make money, to become "productive" -takes away the
spirit of learning. This is not true for all higher education
institutions and, of course, for most graduates. But I thought
it would be something important to think about as you graduate
and move on into the world, into your life.
you've obtained from your hard work and achievements in school,
make sure you always maintain a curious and healthy mind,
an active and thinking orientation, a learning and growing
personal culture. Institutions can't really take that away
from you. But it can happen. And it will take full awareness
of yourself, your community, world, and its processes to stay
on track with your personal and social development. Of course,
we all have to make money. But remember it's better to work
and create when you have passion and determination -when you
really care. This means drawing on your innate gifts, stories,
purposes, and dreams. I've achieved much in my life; I'm almost
50 years old. I've made many more mistakes. But this is the
rhythm of growth. Many mistakes, but vital and enduring achievements.
I wish you all the best in your endeavors -dream big, live
deliberately, and don't worry about perfection as much as
J. Rodriguez – May 21, 2002