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.