About the Author:

Victor Hernández Cruz is the author of several collections of poetry including, most recently, The Mountain in the Sea and In the Shadow of Al-Andalus. His highly acclaimed first book, Snaps, was published the year he turned nineteen. Featured in Bill Moyers’s Language of Life series, Cruz’s collection, Maraca, was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall and Griffin Poetry Prizes. His legendary dynamic reading ability has led to him being twice crowned as the World Heavyweight Poetry Champion in Taos. Cruz was born in Puerto Rico and moved to New York at the age of five. After teaching for many years in the San Francisco Bay area, he has recently returned to the place of his birth. He now divides his time between Morocco and his native Puerto Rico.


“One of the great virtuosos in the language.” —MultiCultural Review

“For almost 40 years the rich tradition of Puerto Rican literature has centered on the music in the poetry of Victor Hernández Cruz. . . . [He] is a poet who hears the higher angelic calling of the artist, and his response is poetry of meaning, adventure, and the heavenly sound of human transcendence.”—Bloomsbury Review (syndicated in Luna)

“Cruz brings poetry back in many ways to its earliest public functions. His are poems that remember, poems that declaim, poems that celebrate language as a pathway into and out of dreams.”—American Book Review

“Like a salsa band leader coaxing and challenging dancers to more and more complex steps, Cruz dares readers with dizzying polyrhythms, polymetric stanzas, backstepping word structures and a sense of improvisation.”—Publishers Weekly

“Cruz’s poems are highly original, difficult, learned, vivid, sensual and a lot of fun.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Cruz is something of a rarity in today’s world of MTV literature. He is a pioneer. As one of the earliest poets to use “Spanglish” as a medium of cultural expression, he bridges the distances between [New York] and Puerto Rico as deftly as any other ‘Nuyorican.’ However, his descriptions of those distances, of the differences, locales, and people that inhabit them, set him apart from anyone else.”—Michigan Daily

“[Cruz] is an acute observer of the Englishes of fellow writers like Conrad and Kosinski, languages bred in a world where ‘bilingualism is the norm rather than the exception.’ . . . Puerto Rican pra-pras, New York red beans and knishes—all survive in the urban Atlantis of Cruz’s poetry, awaiting rediscovery.”—Village Voice


Chancelllor of the Academy of American Poets

Louis Reyes Rivera Lifetime Achievement Award

Two-Time World Heavyweight Champion Poet

Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize Finalist

Griffin Poetry Prize Finalist

Books Available: