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Beneath the Spanish

Beneath the Spanish
Poetry by Victor Hernández Cruz

Puerto Rico, California, New York, Morocco— these are songs of a poet’s genesis, and the places that formed him. 

October 2017

6 x 9 | 184 Pages
Trade Paper

Thanks to a 2013 ADA Access Improvement Grant administered by VSA Minnesota for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, this title is also formatted for screen readers which make text accessible to the blind and visually impaired.

To purchase this title for use with a screen reader please call (612) 338-0125 or email us at

ISBN: 978-1-56689-489-0.




“To the bad times
give a happy face,
place a red amapola
in your black dark hair.
Revive the mummies,
the dead,
burst the bodies
out of the coffins
let’s all walk to the plaza
this final time”


“Short, punchy lines with telescoped syntax set the ongoing beat… A solid selection for neophytes and Cruz’s fans alike.” —Library Journal

“From one of the world’s most eminent poets, Beneath the Spanish is a trumpeting source to draw from in this unsteady time. This book is a virtual encyclopedia of poetics histories in colonial resistances. Thoroughly steeped in signature inimitable musicality and flourishing image verse, this encompassing, jazz-inspired, paramount collection brings us to our knees and delivers us back into the beauty of life amidst all its human complications and conditions. Into the spirit stains, perfumes, and lingual intensities bridging migrations, languages, and cultures to reel in lucidity and create a balancing nest of home. A socially artistic creation by a seasoned genius, Beneath the Spanish is on time, in time, and Victor Hernández Cruz delivers one of the most gorgeously stunning and remarkable contributions to the canon to date. Go on, lose yourself in this.” —Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, author of Streaming

Beneath the Spanish celebrates the evolution and musicality of language by taking you on a journey through the landscapes and cultures that formed the poet and his own bilingual expressions of self:  Puerto Rico, California, New York, and Morocco.” Bustle

“…Victor Hernandez Cruz’s Beneath the Spanish is a vibrant poetic manifesto designed to unite the scattered indigenous peoples of the world.” The Journal