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.
A brief introduction to self-publishing. Sample topics: The merits of traditional and independent publishing. Organizing a book. Basic layout. Print publishing. Electronic publishing. Copyright. ISBNs.
This is the first book of The Bronx Trilogy: three books of poetry about The Bronx and its environs. The Shoe Shine Parlor Poems Et Al: Second Edition features a preface written by the author and a bibliography. It is being released to complement the recent completion of the project, which includes: Concrete Pastures of the Beautiful Bronx and From the Banks of Brook Avenue.
From the Banks of Brook Avenue offers a humorous, ironic, passionate, and vivid exploration of the cityscape. It was awarded First Prize for Poetry in the North Street Book Prize, a competition for self-published books which is sponsored by Winning Writers.
This guide is designed to help teachers use The Shoe Shine Parlor Poems et al as a classroom text. W. R. Rodriguez, who is a poet and teacher, offers an author's introduction, a vocabulary list, and several pre-reading and post-reading questions and activities for each poem.