Jimmy Santiago Baca


Jimmy Santiago Baca is an award-winning American poet and writer of Chicano descent. While serving a five-year sentence in a maximum security prison, he learned to read and began to turn his life around, eventually emerging as a prolific artist of the spoken and written word. He is a winner of the prestigious International Award for his memoir, “A Place to Stand,” the story of which is now also a documentary by the same title. Source

Excerpt from "Ten"

If it does not feed the fire 

of your creativity, then leave it. 

If people and things do not 

inspire your heart to dream, 

then leave them. 

If you are not crazily in love 

and making a stupid fool of yourself, 

then step closer to the edge 

of your heart and climb 

where you've been forbidden to go. 

Debts, accusations, assaults by enemies 

mean nothing, 

go where the fire feeds you.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Ars Poetica

Literary Devices:


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences


the absence of a conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so…) between phrases and within a sentence

Conditional Statement

statements of an “if-then” or “unless-then” situation (although “then” is not used), or a probability