I read this book of poetry last week. It is a short collection, and won’t take you long to work your way through it (I read it twice in about 80 minutes), but the poems are filled with good emotion, better nostalgia, and a recognition of a changing community. Some poems will make you chuckle, others offer a more introspective look into Lopez’s childhood. Very much worth the read, especially if you know the U.S. southwest culture.
L. Luis Lopez’s fourth collection of poems returns to the barrio in Albuquerque where the author grew up in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Each poem is a glimpse into the neighborhood characters who came and went from the small supermarket where he worked as a ‘sack boy’. With great simplicity the poems move from remembered description into small but vital illuminations of the important things in life.
Luis Lopez has published five books of poetry: Musings of a Barrio Sack Boy (Writers Digest Honorable Mention 2000), A Painting of Sand (2000), Each Month I Sing (American Book Award 2008) and First Place for Poetry (Colorado Independent Publishers Association (2008), Andromeda to Vulpecula, 88 Constellation Poems (2014), and More Musings of a Barrio Sack Boy (expected publication June 21, 2017).
Luis has also published poetry in numerous literary magazines like Karamu, The Americas Review, Pinyon, and anthologies like Geography of Hope, From the Heart, and others. Luis also has written a play, Dίa de Visitaciones staged with two runs in Albuquerque and one in San Antonio. His poem “Abiquiu” from A Painting of Sand was the inspiration for an orchestra composition titled Abiquiu by David Gillingham (Central Michigan University) December 2009.
Luis Lopez was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the South Broadway neighborhood he grew up in, which he calls a barrio. He writes about the people of that neighborhood in three of his books and in his play. Dr. Lopez received his BA from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. He received an MA from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in Medieval English Literature, having studied for two summers at the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Oxford, England. He was chosen to participate in two National Endowments, one in poetry with Dr. Helen Vendler at Harvard and one in the Literature of Suffering with Dr. Terence Tilley, professor at Duke University. He has also taught a National Endowment in the study of Poetry of the Southwest. He taught in the Academic Honors Program at the University of New Mexico. He was Director of the Academic Honors Program at Colorado Mesa University.