Americano: Growing up Gay and Latino in the USA is a groundbreaking collection from one of the most provocative voices in modern American poetry. The poems contained in these pages challenge mainstream sexual, political and religious beliefs reflecting unique experiences from the outskirts of the heartland. In pursuit of the American dream, this is a tribute to freedom and equality from an insider looking out while enjoying a piece of both the apple and lemon merengue pie.
In the religious light of these poems the everyday gets revealed as a miracle again and again. Two boys having sex (“your mother in the other room”) are without contradiction entirely hot and holy. Emanuel Xavier is a poet who takes wild comfort in the world and knows god is watching too. —Eileen Myles
Emanuel Xavier sweeps into the streets with the audacity to show us his heart, reflecting fearlessly on a life consumed with the passion to live it. In these vivid poems immersed with humility, presence and love—he shares with us, the tastes, the smells, the beat, all the vaya passionistica that it takes to be Americano—to be a human being in a modern-day America that knows too many boundaries. Xavier is aware that words alone can’t save the world, but they can definitely start the revolution. —Edwin Torres
Nestled in the folds of the red, white and blue, he moves the audience with words about how complex and multi-dimensional American-ness is. In many ways, his call to redefine America-ness mirrors the spoken-word poetry phenomenon, a call to redefine poetry. —Writer Magazine
Uncompromising introspection intermixes with current romances. Dual threads of spirituality and religion thread through the work, the warp to the woof of the collection. Xavier’s imagery moves seamlessly from the morphological harshness of Catholicism—the crucifixion, the stigmata, the thorns, the wounds of Christ—to “the Yoruba breezes” of the Afro-Caribbean spirituality of the Orishas. The collection ends with the author looking forward to a hard-fought, almost positivist, ‘evolution’ in “Undone”: “I am not done writing yet/the future is in our words.” ¡Coño Carajo! Fucking brilliant! —Ashé Journal
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Emanuel Xavier is author of the novel, Christ Like, and the poetry collections If Jesus Were Gay & other poems and Pier Queen. He edited the anthologies Mariposas: A Modern Anthology of Queer Latino Poetry and Me No Habla With Acento: Contemporary Latino Poetry. He appeared twice on HBO’s Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry and performs regularly throughout the country and around the world as a spoken word artist. An Equality Forum “GLBT Icon”, his spoken word/music collaboration album, Legendary, is available for download on iTunes.