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A History of Echoes

A History of Echoes

Rod Carlos Rodriguez

Winner of the Gival Press Poetry Award - 2024

“Rod Carlos Rodriguez's A History of Echoes: Poems is brilliant Borínquen griot testimony told as only a poet of the highest order can tell it. While its essence is reminiscent of Latin mythmakers like Eduardo Galeano, and its free verse swaggers like early Victor Hernandez Cruz, its voice and rhythms and language are in a class of its own. In this impressive collection of historical Rican-struction, Rodriguez illuminates the poet's soul-quest for a home that no longer exists, and yet forever pulses in the blood. A History of Echoes: Poems is a powerful and timeless invocation, a resounding document of memory, ‘a flashing heartbeat in twilight.’”

—Tim Z. Hernandez, author of Some of the Light


“In A History of Echoes: Poems, Texan poet Rod Carlos Rodríguez crafts a repository of the long marginalized, but not lost, cultural Taíno heritage. Poetry turns into an act of preserving the unique language, stories, and traditions of our Taíno ancestry. In this captivating and poignant collection of poems, and like a bohíque or shaman, Rodríguez’s voice amplifies the polyvocality of presences that still stream down in our blood. His work pays homage to Taíno culture and its history with grace, depth, and beauty. A History of Echoes explores the complexities of identity, belonging, and memory as Rodríguez’s poems sublimate into lyrical and evocative language, rendered with reverence and authenticity.”

—Elidio La Torre Lagares, author of Wonderful Wasteland and Other Natural Disasters: Poems


“Rodriguez’ exquisite lyricism sweeps through Puerto Rican history to the present. Each poem in A History of Echoes is a singular gem, but the expanse of this book immerses the reader deep into a mythic realm where music and rhythm take over, carry us on a profoundly sensuous journey. A gourd bursting open releases an ocean, sea turtles emerge from a wound in a man’s back, ships arrive with ‘ugly, / upright animals [who] seemed//as gods, at first,’ men who speak ‘ugly noise’ and have ‘buticaco eyes.’  The horror of Spanish plunderers, visitations by gods to the contemporaries like the poet Julia de Burgos, and images of Puerto Rican freedom fighters seized my imagination and left me with awe for this book.”

—Beverly Burch, judge & author of Leave Me a Little Want

Rod Carlos Rodriguez

Rod Carlos Rodriguez has an MFA degree in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso and is a Lecturer at the University of Texas at San Antonio Writing Program. He is a poet, fiction, and non-fiction writer who has been writing for over 40 years. He has published three books of poetry: the award-winning "Exploits of a Sun Poet" (Pecan Grove Press, 2003), "Lucid Affairs" (Sun Arts Press, 2012), and "Native Instincts" (Human Error Publishing, 2016). His fourth book of poetry, "Cantos, Incandescent", has been accepted for publication by Finishing Line Press. He is founder/chair of the Sun Poet’s Society, South Texas’s longest running weekly open-mic poetry reading (1995-2022). He has been nominated for the San Antonio Poet Laureate in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018. He was poetry editor for "Ocotillo Review", a literary journal/periodical and he was the editor of the "Texas Poetry Calendar 2023" (Kallisto Gaia Press).

Rod Carlos Rodriguez
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