Poet Reyes Cárdenas was born and raised in central Texas. He is the author of Anti-Bicicleta Haiku (1976), Survivors of the Chicano Titanic (1981), Elegies For John Lennon (1984, 2006), I Was Never A Militant Chicano (1986), and Chicano Poet: 1970–2010 (2013). In his work, he takes inspiration from pop culture, politics, and Chicano identity. Cárdenas is a machinist by trade, and his work is just now emerging as an important body of writing in Chicano poetry.
Critic and Tejano scholar Juan Rodriguez wrote of Cárdenas: “When I think of Reyes Cárdenas and his place in Chicano letters, my mind immediately places him alongside another great, but little known, Chicano artist, folk singer Sixto ‘Sugar Man’ Rodríguez. Despite the keen mastery of their respective art forms, both have been neglected—up to now—by the general American public and, sadly, by their own ethnic community. This may be because both are humble human beings who, unlike many of their colleagues, do not self-promote, preferring instead to let their art speak for itself. And in both cases, their art speaks in a thunderous voice that demands our attention.”
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