Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

From Our Land to Our Land

Essays, Journeys, and Imaginings from a Native Xicanx Writer

by Luis J. Rodriguez

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A collection of 12 essays that focus on overarching themes of race, culture, and the tenuous construction of identity, From Our Land to Our Land explores how these concepts have evolved, often by colonialist force, in the volatile history of the United States.

Rodriguez has a distinctly inspiring passion and wisdom in his approach. As he reminds us in the first essay, “The End of Belonging,” “I’m writing as a Native person. I’m writing as a poet. I’m writing as a revolutionary working class organizer and thinker who has traversed life journeys from which incredible experiences, missteps, plights, and victories have marked the way... I belong anywhere.” 

From Our Land to Our Land captures this same fantastic energy and wisdom found in all of Rodriguez's work, inspiring not only discussion of acceptance and belonging, but offering an antidote to the harsh binaries found in a culture shaped by xenophobia and intolerance.

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“Powerful from start to finish, Rodriguez's book celebrates Xicanx culture and wisdom while calling for much-needed global healing. A thoughtful and radically provocative collection.”

“Luis Rodríguez is a poet prophet for our times.”

“A poet at heart, Rodriguez rightly claims that 'as long as the world needs changing, we’ll need poetry.' There is still much left to change and the captivating work contained here is a testament to the possibilities of our will to make a difference.”

“In a climate fraught with division and increased in-fighting amidst the tension, From Our Land to Our Land is a welcome and generous call to recognize the myriad gifts peoples across the world have contributed to our present and celebrate that which we share in order to imagine where we as a society go from here. Tracing connections between language, cultures, and how one chooses to identify, whether Native or non-Native, to current social, environmental, and political concerns, Luis J. Rodriguez reminds us there are healers still at work in this world, and yes, poets walk among them.”

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Former poet laureate of Los Angeles (2014–2016) Luis J. Rodriguez is the author of fifteen works of fiction, nonfiction, memoir, poetry, and children’s literature, including Hearts and Hands: Creating Community in Violent Times and the acclaimed bestseller Always Running. His most recent memoir, It Calls You Back, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2011. He is the recipient of the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers Award, a Lannan Foundation Poetry Fellowship, a Carl Sandburg Book Award, the PEN Josephine Miles Literary Award, and more. A script consultant for the FX drama Snowfall, he founded Barking Rooster Entertainment, a production company for original content for film, TV, and web. Thirty years ago he founded the well-respected Tia Chucha Press, which publishes mostly poetry collections, and he is co-founder of Tia Chucha’s Cultural Center & Bookstore in LA’s San Fernando Valley. In addition to traveling extensively, he teaches every week at two maximum-security yards at Lancaster State Prison. He was the Green Party’s candidate for governor of California in 2014. He lives in the San Fernando Valley with his wife, Trini, and his children, Ramiro, Andrea, Ruben, and Chito.