Some Clarifications y Otros Poemas


by Javier O. Huerta

ISBN: 978-1-55885-500-7
Publication Date: September 30, 2007
Pages: 60
Trim: 5.5” x 8.5”
Format: Trade Paperback

In a mix of English and Spanish, Huerta writes poems that reflect the experiences of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

This debut poetry collection is the winner of the University of California-Irvine’s Chicano / Latino Literary Prize.

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In his poem Toward a Portrait of the Undocumented, Javier O. Huerta writes, “The economy is a puppeteer / manipulating my feet. / (Who’s in control when you dance?) / Pregnant with illegals, the Camaro / labors up the road; soon I will be born.” Sharing similar experiences with the more than 11 million undocumented people who live in United States, Javier O. Huerta struggles with his own sense of loss, caught between his life here and his past in Mexico. “Soy nadiense,” he writes in another poem—I am from nowhere.

Fluent in English and Spanish, Huerta writes poems in both languages, and occasionally combines the two in the same poem. In this, his first full-length collection of poetry, he explores themes of dislocation, loss, love, and art. Whether mourning the tragic suffocating deaths of immigrants in a tractor trailer, lamenting the loss of a lover, or writing about childhood fears, Huerta sketches haunting pieces about a bilingual, bicultural experience. In “Coyote,” Huerta evokes a child’s unvoiced fear about his father, who, his cousins tell him, is a coyote, an immigrant smuggler. “I was only six so I pictured Father on all fours with tongue out, panting, on the prowl.”

Winner of the University of California-Irvine’s 2005 Chicano / Latino Literary Prize, this debut collection marks the arrival of a vibrant new voice in Mexican-American literature.

“…beautiful verse graces this book…a topical and fearless debut, taking on the most charged issue in the contemporary political arena: undocumented immigration.”
—El Paso Times

“Huerta’s book is timely, daring and a true testament of how an artist responds to the troubled times. His activism extends beyond verse, which is what a true citizen poet does.”
—Harriet Blog from

“If you’re in the mood for language that poses riddles of identity, that rides on the heat of its own melting, pick up a copy of Some Clarifications y otros poemas. You won’t be disappointed.”
—Southwestern American Literature

JAVIER O. HUERTA’s poems have been included in numerous anthologies, including Red, White, and Blues (University of Iowa Press, 2004), and journals such as Punto de Partida at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. A native of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, he currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he is working on his doctorate in English at the University of California, Berkeley.