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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Book Review and Giveaways (print and ebook): You Know What I'm Sayin'?: Poetry * Drama by Daniel García Ordaz

I really enjoyed the tempos and cultural experience of this collection.
You Know What I'm Sayin'?: Poetry * Drama
by Daniel García Ordaz

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: El Zarape Press; 2nd edition (August 7, 2011)
  • Language: English, Spanish
    • ISBN-13: 978-0978995416
Genre: Poetry, Drama
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0

El Zarape Press presents its first collection of poetry by the eclectic Daniel García Ordaz, The Poet Mariachi, "the voice of the Rio Grande Valley" (Texas), an emerging voice in Chicano literature. You Know What I'm Sayin'? is a celebration of the common experience of language and culture transfiguring time and place and juxtaposing the politics of urban hip-hop America with the lyricism of rural deep South Texas, a retelling of ancient history sung by a contemporary voice. With an introduction by Fulbright Scholar Dr. Debbie Cole, a linguistic anthropologist. Mainly English; some bilingual (English/Spanish), Tex-Mex and pieces. Hispanic/Latino themes as well as All-American experiences relevant and appropriate for 3rd grade to college-level.

This is a decidedly different read for me and I greatly enjoyed it. I do like to read poetry – I just haven’t done so for some time. I don’t always think of poetry in a sense of “tempo” but you couldn’t read this collection without feeling the depth of rhythm. I could hear the hip-hop or jazz beat with the rhyme and that made it fun to read. There is even a very Spanish poem, These Are a Few of My Favorite “Che’s”, set to the tune of “A Few of My Favorite Things”.
Chitos, Chalupas
and Chilaquiles,

Cholos and Chukos,
Chales and Chiles,

Chelas and Cha-Chas,
and Chocolate,
These are a few of my favorite “che’s”.
And that is just the first verse!

Another plus in this collection is the sharing of the author’s personal view of a different culture. Yes, there was some Spanish I didn’t understand, but even that made sense in its adjacent context. The majority of pieces share images of a culture very different from my growing up place and yet many of the social themes cross over culture and class. I found it interesting to see poems about Affirmative Action and Mohammad Ali (Ode to a Butterfly II). The works are “rich”in imagery of coming of age, poverty, a young man’s ‘fancy’, racial issues and other expressions of life. Daniel makes beautiful use of language - English and Spanish.

Here is a quick bit of wisdom that any reader can appreciate:
Literary Séance
You don’t have to die
To speak to the dead.

Read instead.
A big thank you goes out to Daniel. I enjoyed meeting him at EPICon 2015 and I appreciate seeing a bit of his Hispanic American culture through this book. I was torn between keeping this personally autographed collection or sharing it with others. The solution: I will gift a print copy to one commenter and gift an ebook to another.

I was gifted this book by the author in March at EPICon 2015.

ONE new PRINT (US Only) 
and one Kindle eBook (Worldwide)

(Don't forget to fill in the form for entry!
I have noticed a few commenters who forgot to enter through the Form.)
For 3 Extra Bonus entries
(a) comment on the review, OR
(b) Visit the AUTHOR'S QUOTE site and tell me a quote you like there.

* This contest is open to US only for Print; Worldwide for eBook.
* This contest will close 5 PM (Central) December 1, 2015.
WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED after December 1, 2015.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond on the winners form linked in the announcement or by email.


  1. fun poems to set tunes to

  2. I like reading poetry, so this book of poems would be interesting to read. I like the quote: Opportunity knocks on all classes of doors, for all masses.


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