Born in 1898 on the southern side of the Río Grande River, José Díaz would go on to become a journalist and poet whose work now illuminates life along the Texas-Mexico border in the first half of the 20th century. His poetry and prose was published in numerous Spanish-language newspapers in Texas—much of it under the pseudonym P. Galindo—beginning in the 1920s.
Díaz wrote with humor about social and political issues, frequently using the “décima,” a type of poetry popular in previous generations. He chronicled the lives of his people, writing about everything from the start of the school year to the effect of the Cold War on the local economy. Of particular interest are his observations on the racism experienced by Mexican Americans during that time. In addition to poetry and journalistic writings, P. Galindo: Obras (in)completas de José Díaz contains riddles, letters and telegrams.
Scholar and editor Manuel M. Martín-Rodríguez writes in his introduction that Díaz’s work is notable because he wrote for a literate, Spanish-speaking working class. Published as part of the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage project, this book introduces students and scholars to the work of an important writer who documented life in South Texas from the Great Depression to the Chicano Civil Rights Movement. This is fascinating reading for those interested in the history of the Texas-Mexico border region, Spanish-language newspapers in the United States and their role in the community.