Chicano/Chicana •  Southwest and Poetry

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Odes to Anger

Jason Yurcic

These poems reveal the heart of a survivor. In the title section, the poet, caught in "the unspoken language of pain," escapes his beginnings only to find that the culture of violence has followed him. In the second section, "Meditations on Breath," he charts his journey to survival. In the last section, "Walking into My Mind," he contrasts the backbreaking manual labor of his day job with his real work, "to write/Love/Hold my children while rocking them to sleep/Children of the flesh/Children of the word." V. B. Price has written of Yurcic's work, "Anyone who has been saved by writing . . . will feel a heartening kinship with these startlingly honest and beautiful poems."

"Jason Yurcic's Odes to Anger is an ode to facing oneself, an ode to truth as in confronting culture and society, an ode to pain that is yours and mine and necessary. And it is a working man's blues ode, meaning it is a working man's celebration of his creativity, endurance, resilience. Read Yurcic's poems--you will know what I mean."--Simon Ortiz, author of Out There Somewhere and Woven Stone

"Yurcic's poems burn like a torch flame, hot and blue, melting a bead of images of a hardened past and everyday struggles of survival and perseverance.... But the poems also shed the calloused thickened skin of hard labor to reveal the poet's tender side, the other language, one that is gentle, assuring, and kind. ... While the world lies still and resting, Yurcic, the poet, gets up before another day of mixing, pouring, and hammering and prepares his poems written in the morning time."--Levi Romero, author of A Poetry of Remembrance: New and Rejected Works


Jason Yurcic was born in Santa Fe while his father was in prison. Soon after his release, his father was brutally murdered in a street fight. Yurcic grew up in Albuquerque with his grandfather, avoided a threatened jail sentence, and became a professional boxer at age twenty-three. Jimmy Santiago Baca helped mentor him in the writing of poetry. Currently, Jason conducts poetry workshops for prisons, schools, and colleges. His first play, The Little Ghost, was staged in June 2008 at the Santa Fe Performing Arts Center.


"Yurcic's is a new and powerfully talented voice.... Odes to Anger welds heart and spirit in exciting, vivid imagery and passion, announcing that Jason Yurcic is definitely a writer to watch."


Albuquerque Journal

Published By West End Press

6 x 9 in. 64 pages