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W.R. Rodriguez grew up in the Bronx where he worked as a bootblack in the family shoe shine parlor. He moved to Madison where he earned an M.A. in English and taught high school for over thirty years. The urban environment has been a major source of his writing: “Although I left The Bronx decades ago, it has not left me. To give ironic tribute to the Romantics, I regard the streets and tenements as worthy subjects of art. I enjoy creating poetry from my memories of people, places, and events, as well as from research and imagination. Also, I want my poems to work on the page and to have a strong voice if read aloud.”
His poetry has appeared in magazines such as Abraxas and Epoch, and in anthologies such as The Party Train, Welcome to Your Life, and Editor’s Choice III. Articles about his family’s experience in The Bronx were published in The Bronx County Historical Society Journal.
W.R. Rodriguez is the author of several books of poetry. His latest, from the banks of brook avenue, is an evolution of the work he began in the shoe shine parlor poems et al and developed in concrete pastures of the beautiful bronx.
on July 30, 2017 :
Many poets use so much metaphor and symbolism that the reader has to struggle to figure out what a poem is about. Mr. Rodriguez’s poems are beautifully written, personal and approachable. He is as much a master story teller as poet. The vivid poems in this book take you back in time. I wouldn't have any interest in reading a history of the Bronx but this poetry made it come alive to me. For those who are from New York, these poems would be even richer. I highly recommend this book!
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)