The Roots of A Thousand Embraces

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Pub Date: 04/26/2016

Pages: 64

Publisher: Manic D Press, Inc.

Imprint: Manic D Press, Inc.

ISBN 13: 9781933149967

ISBN 10: 1933149965

Price: / $18.99 CAN$13.95

Category: POETRY / American / Hispanic American

The Roots of A Thousand Embraces

By Juan Felipe Herrera

Price: $13.95



About the Book

"Juan Felipe Hererra’s writing fuses wide-ranging experimentalism with reflections on Mexican-American identity . . ."—The New York Times

In forty cantos, the poet explores the metaphysical relationship between Frida Kahlo, her art, her broken body, and cross-border consciousness. First published in 1994, this early work—his sixth book—reveals a deep sense of longing for all to be made whole again in spite of fractures—physical, metaphorical, cultural—bestowed by the world.

From "Prologue: A Second Body":

Think on the time it takes a scar to heal,

a river to rise — an old woman to regain the tumbling
powers of her busted arms — a young woman (calling
herself Frida) to re-structure her shattered vertebrae, to
be caught up with a body-cast, a second body which she
inhabits — for the rest of her life; this is precious to me,

that is all.

She painted herself somewhere in-between Mexico and
the United States — in the open space of the jaws; between
the mandibles of the jaguar and the nuclear turbine.

It is the healing of this metaphysical fracture too (which
may invoke further breakage) that concerns me.

Juan Felipe Herrera was raised in a farm-working family in the San Joaquin Valley. A graduate of UCLA, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Stanford University, he has written numerous books. Herrera’s awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the PEN USA Award. Former Poet Laureate of California and now United States Poet Laureate, he lives in Fresno.

About the Book

In 40 cantos, the poet embarks on a journey of discovery into the metaphysical meaning of Frida Kahlo's artistic life.


Juan Felipe Herrera has received numerous awards and fellowships. The author of 21 books, including fourteen collections of poetry, prose, short stories, young adult novels and children's books, he is also a community arts leader, working with at-risk youth and migrant communities. He is also a dynamic performer and actor who has appeared on stage and in film.