Citizen Illegal

Citizen Illegal

In this stunning debut, poet José Olivarez explores the stories, contradictions, joys, and sorrows that embody life in the spaces between Mexico and America. He paints vivid portraits of good kids, bad kids, families clinging to hope, life after the steel mills, gentrifying barrios, and everything in between. Drawing on the rich traditions of Latinx and Chicago writers like Sandra Cisneros and Gwendolyn Brooks, Olivarez creates a home out of life in the in-between. Combining wry humor with potent emotional force, Olivarez takes on complex issues of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and immigration using an everyday language that invites the reader in. Olivarez has a unique voice that makes him a poet to watch.

Title:Citizen Illegal
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781608469543
Format Type:

About Josẽ Olivarez


    Citizen Illegal Reviews

  • Anna |hayinas7

    Citizen Illegal is a beautiful piece of artwork. This collection of poetry explores what it means to be a first-generation Mexican-American. José paints a vivid portrait of family, love, gender, clas...

  • Nahid Soltanzadeh

    I just finished this book in one sitting and I'm in awe. I learned more than I have ever learned from a poetry book, in terms of both craft & content. Like, if we each had an empathy score for the liv...

  • Kathleen

    My review for the Chicago Tribune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifesty...The word “ode” gets thrown around a lot in relation to poetry, so it’s worth taking a look at Merriam-Webster’s defin...

  • M

    This was fantastic. I couldn't put it down--i laughed out loud several times. Olivarez had me swinging between feeling good, sad, and with righteous injustice over the course of a few lines. Then repe...

  • Allison

    I'm so glad this collection of poetry exists in our world today. Jose Olivarez writes beautifully with love, humor and wit, about his experience growing up Mexican-American, the child of immigrants, a...

  • Violet Muhle Bruce

    Just beautiful. This poetry is so real and vibrant and honest that it left me speechless. The way this book has so many of my favorite types of poetry is truly incredible. I believe there is something...

  • Elliot

    I don't know a lot about poetry, but there's a lot of good shit in here....

  • Isaly.

    Poetry has always been my favorite genre because of the emotions it evokes from a reader. I have been getting poetry books left and right from the library. I recently was able to get Citizen Illegal B...

  • Karin Salisbury

    Such a powerful, honest voice. I continue to revisit various poems, each one packed with intensity, thoughtfulness, love, and raw dignity. ...

  • krystal

    I just inhaled this book in one sitting. I’m typing this from the bookstore because I haven’t even left yet. It’s perfect. I loved it. I hope you do too. ...