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Beacon Press, Spring 2019

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When I Walk Through That Door, I Am
An Immigrant Mother's Quest
By (author): Jimmy Santiago Baca
9780807059357 Paperback, Trade English General Trade POETRY / American / Hispanic American Feb 19, 2019
$17.50 CAD
Active 5 x 7 x 0.26 in 88 pages Beacon Press
Poet-activist Jimmy Baca immerses the reader in an epic narrative poem, imagining the experience of motherhood in the context of immigration, family separation, and ICE raids on the Southern border.

Jimmy Santiago Baca sends us on a journey with Sophia, an El Salvadorian mother facing a mountain of obstacles, carrying with her the burden of all that has come before: her husband’s murder, a wrenching separation from her young son at the border, then rape and abuse at the hands of ICE, yet persevering: “I keep walking/carrying you in my thoughts,” she repeats, as she wills her boy to know she is on a quest to find him.

A documentary about Baca’s life, based on his memoir A Place to Stand premiering in a variety of festivals and cities all over America. Trailer at:

Baca is a well-known, highly praised poet who has sold approximately 94,500 copies of his books throughout his career; it’s clear his has a vast and dedicated fan base

He is the poet of the people, he speaks to people in completely accessible narrative poems

Writing about an earlier collection (Immigrants in our own Land), in the Encyclopedia of American Literature, Catherine Hardy wrote that Baca’s poems “reveal an honest, passionate voice and powerful imagery full of the dark jewels of the American Southwest landscape (llanos, mesas, and chiles) and the chaotic urban landscape (nightclubs, rusty motors, and bricks) woven into a rich lyricism sprinkled with Spanish.”

Jimmy Santiago Baca is an American poet, teacher, and activist of Apache and Chicano descent, and holds a number of awards for his easily accessible writing style and activism. He is the author of A Place to Stand, which was developed into a documentary film about his life, airing on PBS.

Author Residence: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Author Hometown: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Marketing: Ads targeting activists in general including sanctuary cities, organizations, community activists

Geotarget ads at states with large Latino/Hispanic populations (central and south American countries), poets and creative writing students on Facebook and Twitter

Social media spaces geared towards immigration and border policy; images featuring facts, quotes and updates

Academic promotion: race and ethnicity, American Studies, Latinx Studies, sociology, women/gender studies, creative writing/MFA programs

Reader buzz campaign: ARC and finished copy giveaways through social media and Goodreads

Hispanic Heritage Month and National Poetry Month (April) promotions

Publicity: Interviews with national and regional NPR programs as well as literary/poetry podcasts

Coverage in print and online poetry and literary media

Outreach to immigration, Latinx, politics, and history outlets as well as journalists covering related topics

Author Website:

Author Social Media:

“This slim, salient volume will open readers’ eyes wide to the true human stories behind blaring headlines about immigration policies and debates.”
Booklist, Starred Review

“Incredibly emotive and beautifully written, When I Walk Through That Door, I Am is a must read.”

“Jimmy Baca’s new book brilliantly reimagines the epic poem—and reshapes the epic hero as a young immigrant woman struggling to escape violence and find the child that has been torn away from her. A work that speaks strikingly and passionately of our times.”
—Richard Blanco, inaugural poet and author of How to Love a Country

“[Baca] writes with unconcealed passion…both an intense lyricism and transformative vision.”
—Denise Levertov

“[Baca’s] voice, brutal and tender, is unique in America.”
—Ilan Stavans, The Nation

“What makes [Baca’s poetry] a success is its honesty, a brutal honesty, as well as his original imagery and the passion of his writing.”
—Gary Soto, The San Francisco Chronicle

“To read Jimmy Santiago Baca’s poetry is to tramp across the uneven terrain of human experience, sometimes lulled by the everydayness of work or relationships, and then dazzled by a flood of emotion or vibrant observation.”
Western American Literature

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