This is an anthology of compelling new work by more than forty Latino and Latina poets, including Sandra Cisneros, Ana Castillo, Julia Alvarez, Luis Rodriguez, Rosario Ferre, Victor Hernandez Cruz, Gary Soto, and Clemente Soto Velez. El Coro offers proof that Latino/a poetry today is more complex and diverse, more beautiful and powerful, than had been previously acknowledged.
Here we find the open expression of anger and grief, self-mocking humor, the music of protest, the quiet assertion of dignity, and the raucous celebration of survival. There are poems about stoop labor and welfare offices and housing projects, but also poems about the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the Minotaur.
Among the poets are former farm workers and gang members, a practicing physician, an ex-tenant lawyer, two professional chefs, and a Vietnam veteran. One poet was a political prisoner for six years; another staged a famous hunger strike; still another was indicted for her work with Central American refugees. In many ways this collection of poets comprises a chorus. Their song humanizes in the face of dehumanization.