Raúl Sánchez is a translator who currently teaches bilingual poetry at Denny International Middle School through the Jack Straw Cultural Center. He is a member of Writers in the schools through Seattle Arts and Lectures (WITS), teaching bilingual poetry at Evergreen High School. This is his fourth year volunteering for PONGO Teen Writing in the Juvenile Detention Center. In 2019 he was one of the eleven speakers at the Ignite Education Lab storytelling event at Seattle University. He was commissioned by the Ballard Civic Orchestra to write the libretto for the “The Other Conquest” A Opera ensemble in response to Vivaldi’s Motezuma, which included the Score written by Hector Armienta.
A Message from Poet, Raúl Sánchez
After my first book was published, I was surprised, elated by how many people were waiting to read what they’ve heard from me over the years on the open mic sessions all across town, up and down on the I-5 corridor as well as on the other side of the cascades in eastern Washington. I can safely say that I was the only “Latino” bilingual immigrant poet reading around town.
Well, it’s been eight full years since my first book and I’m delighted to share with you my newest work.
My objective is to embrace my roots, my culture, my family and my purpose which is teaching, mentoring, sharing with youth what I’ve learned about poetry over the years. We need what the living planet is giving us, therefore it needs to be protected and revered. The inclusion of the Nahuatl language is to honor the history behind me. The language of my ancestors, the language I inherited and the language I speak where I live.
The poems in this book move from south to north recounting the experiences and visions of the time as seen on TV. Included are the stories from my uncles and some cousins who were migrant workers in their youth. Such is my experience and the reason why I migrated to the USA. "El Norte” where everything is prosperous, happy and magnificent.
Blame it on the TV Shows of the time (1960’s), starting when I was five and through the influence of rock music and the cultural changes all over the world at the time. 1968 defined my outlook on life. Joan Baez, Victor Jara, Violeta Parra, Jose de Molina, Mercedes Sosa, and Daniel Viglietti inspired me to write my first poem in 1972.
Renato Leduc was the first poet I ever heard. He was one of the celebrities who used to frequent my father’s Restaurant “El Califa” a block away from Plaza Mexico, the biggest bull fighting ring in the world.
I feel this collection is part memoir, accomplishments, frustrations and overall joy for living and loving the people with whom I’ve crossed paths.
Poetry sustains my soul. Family and friends are my lifeline. Inspiration is a gift and sharing with others is the biggest honor I could have ever imagined.