The debut collection from Tucson poet and renowned performer Enrique Garcia includes a total of 19 poems written from 2011 to 2013, and tells the story of one year spent living in a desert city: cultura and reflection, struggle and beauty.
Through vibrant images and sharp language use, García shows us his work is as powerful on the page as it is on the stage.
Tortoise Boy Says takes us on a journey through the barrio, showing us the Old Pueblo as seen through young eyes swelling with pride and resistance.
Excerpts from the book available by clicking the titles below.
Tortoise Boy Says: A Year in Poems
- sleeping magic
- shrines of Barrio Viejo
- woken in silence
- the day Barrio Ochoa woke up
- camino de la tierra
- brown eyes
- the day the Santa Cruz flowed
- para ti
- within los arroyos
- vox urbana
- presagio, sunrise
- Zapata echoes
- belly garden
- the stoneworker’s son
- in Logan’s kitchen
- malecón de Peñasco
- tortoise boy says
was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1995 to Mexican parents and raised with supersition and an ear for stories. He moved frequently as a child, living in Nampa, Idaho and his parents’ hometown of Estipac, Jalisco, before settling in Tucson, Arizona and figuring out: Mexicans are made for warm weather.
Enrique wrote raps starting at the age of 13, and began performing poetry at the Tucson Youth Poetry Slam at 15. He went on to win nine consecutive slams including the second annual All-City TYPS Championship in 2012 and formed part of the first Southern Arizona team to compete at the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Festival.
He is a staff member at Spoken Futures, an arts organization that empowers youth through initiatives such as the TYPS and Liberation Lyrics, an afterschool social justice program. Having served as Youth Organizer for three years, Enrique has led many community workshops and performed in spaces where poetry was previously unheard.
García is a 2013 Pueblo High School graduate, currently attends Pima Community College and has been recognized for both his literary work and activism, winning the National Association for Bilingual Education Essay Award and La Zona de Promesa Promising Leader Award in 2013.