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Title: Invasions

Source(s): Black Mesa Poems

Author(s): Jimmy Santiago Baca (Author)

Poem about waves of conquest and settlement in New Mexico.

6:00 a.m. I awake and leave to fish the Jemez. Coronado rode through this light, dark green brush, horse foaming saliva, tongue red and dry as the red cliffs. Back then the air was bright and crisp with Esteban's death at the hands of Zun...

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Title: Coronado

Source(s): The Winter Road

Author(s): Louis Jenkins (Author)

Poet Louis Jenkins tells of Coronado's confrontation with the Zunis.

Coronado came up from Mexico in search of the life of the imagination. The Zunis said “Oh God, here comes Coronado and those Spaniards.” The Zunis drew a line on the ground with cornmeal and said “OK Coronado cross that line and you'll be sorry...

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Title: Acoma

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

An introduction to the history and culture of the people of Acoma.

Tribal elders say that Acoma (sometimes spelled Akome, Acuo, Acuco, Ako and A’ku-me) means “a place that always was.” Archaeologists have found artifacts at digs on Acoma Mesa that speak of prehistoric times. Like its near neighbors Hopi and Zu...

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Title: On Story

Source(s): Writing the Southwest

Author(s): Simon Ortiz (Author); David King Dunaway (Editor); Sara L. Spurgeon (Editor)

A noted Acoma author on the importance of storytelling and poetry to life.

Everything is a story, in the sense that the tradition out of which poetry and song comes is like the story of the life of a people. That is, the culture survives because of the story of its birth, and goes on into its development and to the end of a...

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Title: Gaspar Villagrá and the Story of His Epic Adventure in the Upper Rio Grande

Source(s): Trail Dust

Author(s): Marc Simmons (Author); Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá (Author)

Historian Marc Simmons sketches the life of Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá, poet-historian of the Spanish conquest.

Captain Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá published an epic poem in 1610. Written in classical style, it was fashioned in imitation of the Aeneid by the Roman poet Virgil. The poem bore the rather colorless name, Historia de la Nueva Mexico. Villagrá is...

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Title: A Voice

Source(s): My Own True Name: New and Selected Poems for Young Adults

Author(s): Pat Mora (Author)

A poem describing the narrator’s mother’s struggle to learn English.

Even the lights on the stage unrelenting as the desert sun couldn’t hide the other students, their eyes also unrelenting, students who spoke English every night as they ate their meat, potatoes, gravy. Not you. In your house that smelled lik...

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Title: Something

Source(s): Sofia Poems

Author(s): Joan Logghe (Author)

A poem about Sephardic Jews in New Mexico.

Sofia had a secret even Sofia didn’t know. Something about candles at night, no taste of pork in her grandmother’s house. Something. Shadowed memory of her grandmother in her dark bedroom, her voice nearly a whisper. It passes down through the...

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Title: The Arrival of My Mother —New Mexico Territory, 1906

Source(s): Lion’s Gate Selected Poems 1963-1986

Author(s): Keith Wilson (Author)

Poem describing the author’s mother’s arrival in New Mexico territory at the age of 25.

She got off, according to her diary, dressed in a lovely beaded gown, fresh from Washington with sixteen trunks of ballgowns, chemises, blouses (4 Middle), shoes and assorted lingerie. She was at that time about 25, old for an unmarried wom...

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Title: Prefacio [Preface]

Source(s): Abuelitos: Stories of the Rio Puerco Valley

Author(s): Sabine R. Ulibarrí (Author); Nasario García (Editor)

It is necessary to know where you come from to know where you are and what you are, in order to know where you are headed and who you will be. Nasario García knows very well where he comes from. That is why his road in life is well marked. Kindn...

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Title: Alabados

Source(s): Brothers of Light: The Penitentes of the Southwest

Author(s): Alice Corbin Henderson (Author)

A description of traditional Spanish alabados, or hymns, that the Penitentes sang during their rituals.

Parts of the Penitente ritual have an ancestry of great age. This is particularly true of the alabados, or hymns, patiently written down in small copybooks or transmitted by memory. In verse forms these alabados have the earmarks of Fifteenth- or Six...

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