The Apache In His Pen: The Poetry of Jimmy Santiago Baca

Poem-Making With Jim Moreno

Sunday, September 16, 2017, 1:00 P.M. To 5:00 P.M.

San Diego Writers, Ink,  2730 Historic Decatur Rd., #202, San Diego, CA 92106 (760) 802-2449

Register by clicking on the following link:

     Sent to a nine year prison sentence at age 19 for drug dealing, angry and illiterate, Jimmy Santiago Baca could not stop fighting so he suffered in solitary confinement for four years. Then he asked a guard for a dictionary, taught himself the alphabet, taught himself words, taught himself to form simple sentences into poems. When Jimmy was released into the general prison population he walked up to a lifer, a man serving two life sentences, and showed him some of his poems written in solitary. Word quickly spread thorough the prison that the young man was a gifted poet.

      A man would approach him and say that his wife and he were having a wedding anniversary but the woman didn't have the money to travel to the prison. The man asked Mr. Baca to write a poem for that anniversary. Then, gave him some laundry soap. Another man couldn't travel to his grandfather's funeral and asked the young poet to write a poem for his grandmother. Then, gave Jimmy some cigarettes. From this austere beginning Baca has evolved to be the author of over a dozen books of poetry and published memoirs, essays, stories, and a screenplay, Bound by Honor (1993), which was made into a feature-length film.

     Jim Moreno's September workshop takes an in depth look at the poetry of this talented writer, born of Chicano and Apache parents, abandoned by them and placed in an orphanage by his grandmother. At 13 Baca ran away from the orphanage and then at 19 ended up in prison. How can someone with so much against him evolve into such an artist with the pen?  Poetry.

     If you have not attended Jim Moreno's writing workshops you will leave with two original poems crafted from resources from a syllabus that will provide many satisfying hours of reading, music, and further writing resources for the writer dedicated to walking the infinite path of richness and depth the art provides.

     In addition, typical of a Moreno workshop, Jim has found poetry from writers of other cultures and genres that resonate with Baca's verse. Other poets who write clearly about mountains, the skies, stony earth, events, & dreams with existential eyes, finding meaning in meaninglessness, will grace the prompts. Baca's indigenous roots bring inclusion, tolerance, love, and community to his prolific pen. Jimmy Santiago Baca once wrote: Literacy is freedom and everyone has something significant to say.



     If you are looking for a workshop to help you find your audience this workshop is not for you. If you are looking for a critique workshop, this class is not for you. If you are looking for a safe writing environment, a place to explore your own heart, to find your original voice, this is the workshop for you. You do have something significant to say. For beginning or seasoned poets.


     Jim Moreno is a Teaching Artist with San Diego Writers, Ink and on the Program Committee. He is a Regional Editor of the San Diego Poetry Annual. Jim was voted the Residency Teacher of the Year at Arts 4 Learning for 2016-17. He is the co-host, with Theresa F. of 2nd Tuesday Jihmye Poetry – Open Mic at the Cafe Cabaret. Jim will also  co-hosted with Michael Klam  Cultures Connect in San Diego at the San Diego Art Institute in Balboa Park, April 7, 2018., a poetry program featuring 7 poets from diversity including Pilar R. Aranda, Alexis Ng, Francisco Bustos, Sharon Elise, Viet Mai, Angela Torres, & Ted Washington.                                                    



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