'Across the line / Al otro lado'
Poetry of Baja California in 'Jacket' 21
In his introduction to this Jacket feature, Mark Weiss delves into the literary history of Baja Californian poetry. It is impossible to separate art from history; the growth of a region corresponds to the flourishing of expression, and political occurrences like the increased scrutiny of the borders post-9/11 or Mexico’s Woodstock in ’71 leave a visible trace. At the same time, Baja California is a liminal space. It is ever-changing and constantly passed through. What kinds of poetry do the inhabitants of such a place produce? The duality inherent in the location leads to ambiguous identity; those who live in Baja California have an ancestry of “both the conquered and the conqueror, indigenous and invader.” The collection of poetry in The Poetry of Baja California attempts to tackle some of the troubles that arise from living with this split sense of self, while at the same time bringing greater recognition to the diversity of Mexican and Latin American poetry.
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