Poet and author Luis J. Rodriguez joins Alta Asks Live and host Heather Scott Partington for a discussion on his latest book From Our Land to Our Land: Essays, Journeys & Imaginings from a Native Xicanx Writer, identity, and the necessity of poetry in difficult times.
Read Alta Asks: Talking with Luis J. Rodriguez
Read an excerpt: Monsters of Our Own Making
About the book and author
In From Our Land to Our Land, Luis J. Rodriguez writes about race, culture, identity, and belonging and what those all mean and should mean (but often fail to) in the volatile climate of our nation. His passion and wisdom inspire us with the message we must come together if we are to move forward. As he writes in the preface, “Like millions of Americans, I’m demanding a new vision, a qualitatively different direction, for this country. One for the shared well-being of everyone. One with beauty, healing, poetry, imagination, and truth.” The pieces in From Our Land to Our Land capture that same fantastic energy and wisdom, and will spark deep and embracing conversation for years to come.
Luis J, Rodriguez is author of 16 books in poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and nonfiction. He’s best known for the bestselling memoir Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Day’s in L.A. The sequel, It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions & Healing was a 2012 finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He’s also founding editor of the renowned small press, Tia Chucha Press, and co-founder of the comprehensive arts & literacy space, Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. From 2014 to 2016, he served as the official Poet Laureate of Los Angeles. Luis has worked on three TV shows as a script consultant, including for FX’s Snowfall. His play based on Always Running sold out every weekend in 2019 for three months at Casa 0101 Theater in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. His last poetry book is Borrowed Bones. His latest book is From Our Land to Our Land: Essays, Journeys & Imaginings from a Native Xicanx Writer.
About the moderator
Heather Scott Partington is a writer, teacher, and book critic. She is the winner of an emerging critic fellowship from the National Book Critics Circle and the critic in residence for UC Riverside’s Palm Desert MFA program. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, and Los Angeles Review of Books among other publications. She lives in Elk Grove, California, with her husband and two kids.