The Other Man Was Me: A Voyage to the New World


Rafael Campo

ISBN: 978-1-55885-111-9

Publication Date: July 1, 1994

Bind: Paperback

Pages: 120

In stock

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The Other Man Was Me is the long-awaited poetic debut from the winner of the National Poetry series 1993 Open Competition. It is a voyage of many discoveries: a people loses its homeland and finds a vast new continent, an immigrant’s son discovers his cultural and sexual identities, and a physician awakens to the suffering of his patients. This collection of poems begins by chronicling the long journey from Spain to Cuba and ultimately to America that has been undertaken by so many hopeful, proud people.

The second section of this book is a telling portrait of four generations of the author’s family. This time the journey is more emotional than physical, with the painful search for the lost homeland ending in the claiming of a new, empowered identity based on a loving relationship between two men, both Latino. The last section of the book explores this homosexual American identity further, in the particular context of the doctor-patient relationship on the age of AIDS. What does it mean to be “the other” in America? Whether different by virtue of ethnic background, sexual orientation, social class or HIV status, The Other Man Was Me seeks to answer this question with honesty and courage.

Winner, 1993 National Poetry Series Open Competition; Finalist, PEN Center USA West 1995 Literary Award-Literature; Finalist, 1995 Lambda Book Award-Gay Men’s Poetry; Finalist, 1995 American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Book Award-Literature

“…Latino ethnicity, gay identity, the responsibilities of doctors in the age of AIDS, and the meaning of family are all under question as the writer, a San Francisco doctor, writes with a sturdily imaginative vigor in compact, accessible poems… The poet’s assertive exploration… is always engaging.”
—Publishers Weekly

“The stories Campo’s sonnets tell in their episodic vignettes are thoroughly gripping.”
—Voice Literary Supplement

“This is a very powerful collection of poems about identity, familia, and love.”
—MultiCultural Review

RAFAEL CAMPO, a physician and poet, is the recipient of numerous literary awards, including The Kenyon Review Emerging Writer of the Year (1992), the Agni Poetry Prize (1991), the Boston University Literary Guild Prize for AIDS-related Writing (1991), the George Starbuck Writing Fellowship (1990), and the Rolfe Humphries Poetry Prize (1986-1987).