The Searchers: Collected Poetry
by Tomás Rivera
Edited by Julián Olivares
Publication Date: 1990
Bind: Trade Paperback
This moving collection contains poems the late author published and poems the editor discovered among the author’s literary papers. In taut but impassioned lyrics, Rivera celebrates the common experience of humanity and renews his search for the encounter for the self, community, the past and the continuity of the dead through the living.
About the Book
Tomás Rivera’s The Searchers: Collected Poetry, edited by Julián Olivares, contains the twenty-six poems the late author published and an equal number which the editor discovered among the author’s literary papers. In The Searchers, in taut but impassioned lyrics, Tomás Rivera celebrates the common experience of humanity and renews his search for the encounter of the self, community, the past and the continuity of the dead through the living. Tomás Rivera is the author of the now classic Chicano novel … y no se lo tragó la tierra/… and the earth did not devour him and the short story collection The Harvest.
“Finally, Rivera’s corpus of poetry with a sturdy bibliography, sound, solid notes with Julián Olivares’ respected scholarship. This book will be read by the scholar and the general reader with profit.” -Rolando Hinojosa
“In his prose fiction, Tomás Rivera is an accuser; in his poetry, he is a searcher. He derived his inspiration from the migrant workers, people who search. The search was, for Rivera, the most important metaphor defining the Americas. His great ambition was to be a searcher, an ambition he fulfilled through his poetry, here collected for the first time by another searcher, Julián Olivares.” -Luis Leal
“Small poems, narrow lines, everyday words to haunt the sensitive reader, this work is a universal cry for liberation.” -Review of Texas Books
Tomás Rivera (1935-1984) was born to a family of migrant farm workers in the South Texas town of Crystal City. In spite of moving constantly to work the crops, Rivera managed to graduate from high school. He went on to obtain a degree in English from Southwest Texas State University. He then earned a master’s degree in Spanish literature and a doctorate in Romance languages and literatures. He became a university administrator, and in 1979 he was appointed chancellor of the University of California, Riverside, a position he held for five years until his sudden death in 1984.