Dedicated to the promotion, publication, and free expression of Xican@ LITERATURE AND ART

Aztlan Libre Press, an independent Xican@ press based out of San Antonio, Texas, announces the release of our fourth publication, For the City that Nearly Broke Me, by Barbara Jane Reyes. (Scroll down for PRESS PACKET).

Barbara Jane Reyes was born in Manila, Philippines, raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is the author of six publications of poetry, including Gravities of Center (Arkipelago Books, 2003), Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish Press, 2005), which received the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets, and Diwata (BOA Editions, Ltd., 2010), recently noted as a finalist for the California Book Award. A Mellon Foundation Fellow, she is an adjunct professor at University of San Francisco’s Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program, where she teaches Filipino/a Literature in Diaspora, and Filipina Lives and Voices in Literature. She lives with her husband, poet Oscar Bermeo, in Oakland, where she is co-editor of Doveglion Press.

For the City that Nearly Broke Me is the inaugural publication in Aztlan Libre Press’ Indigenous Voices Series. The Indigenous Voices Series will publish important literary, artistic and cultural works by other American Indians and World Indigenous Voices.

Scribe of global soundscape, Reyes builds upon the heartbeat of literary and blood ancestors, feeding her “mythic thirst for home” as she journeys back to cities devastated and torn by the politics of race, history, class and sexuality, greeting her like an outsider. And still, despite the cities’ fall from grace, each gritty image, drawn on multiple languages and rhythms, is a love song, a reflection, a naming of the self.  Bittersweet, powerful and precise, I adore this important book and the work of Barbara Jane Reyes.
–M. Evelina Galang, author of One Tribe.

In this fierce, feisty, anaphora-filled shakedown serenade, Reyes hard-scrambles our senses to position us firmly in poetry meant to electro-charge our attention real. This is a fine book of verse, reminiscent of Juan Felipe Herrera, yet singly Reyes. The supple lines ring endless rounds, bringing us bits of battle-singing and words wound true.
 –Allison A. Hedge Coke, author of Dog Road Woman.

In For the City that Nearly Broke Me, Barbara Jane Reyes serenades us with poetry about Manila and West Oakland, two dynamic cities where the mythic and raw realism meet, and jazz riffs and raps with kundiman.  Incantatory, gritty, at times heartbreaking, and, yes, celebratory, these poems are amulets for our broken world.
–R. Zamora Linmark, author of Drive-By Vigils.

If you’re interested in receiving a preview copy for your program and courses, or for review purposes, contact us at or at 210.710.8537.

For more information, or to purchase Aztlan Libre Press publications, please visit our website Aztlan Libre Press books are also available through Small Press Distribution at

Anisa Onofre
Juan Tejeda


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