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Publisher's Summary

Jimmy Santiago Baca has been called an heir to Pablo Neruda and one of the best poets in America today. At the age of 21, however, he was illiterate and facing five to 10 years in a maximum-security penitentiary for selling drugs. Five years later, he emerged from prison with the ability to read and a passion for writing poetry. A Place to Stand is his memoir of childhood on the small farms of New Mexico, his adolescence spent in orphanages and detention centers, his years as a drug dealer in San Diego and Arizona, and his extraordinary personal transformation under the harrowing conditions behind bars.

Life in prison was often brutal, and Baca describes the extreme measures he had to take to survive, from beating another inmate with a lead pipe to slicing an attacker's stomach with a butcher's knife. Although these were acts of self-defense, they landed him repeatedly in solitary confinement. His time in isolation was intended to break his spirit, but it proved to be the catalyst for an extraordinary series of memories and revelations that endowed him with an indomitable will to resist the dehumanization of prison life. Poetry became an essential element of this newfound sense of self, and the act of writing offered a powerful means of transcending his surroundings.

A Place to Stand is a vivid portrait of life inside a maximum-security prison and an affirmation of one man's spirit in overcoming the most brutal adversity.

©2001 Jimmy Santiago Baca (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Book

Very descriptive, entertaining, also sad that I can related to this emotionally in some ways. Really worth listening to good narration.

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Loved it

As a formerly incarcerated individual pursuing my higher education, I found this story very relatable. I often struggle finding the right words to express my emotions, Baca has inspired me to continue to strive for a better version of myself.

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Great book!!!

This book takes you to places and through situations you may not have ever imagined being or experiencing otherwise. The writer gives such detailed descriptions throughout the book which makes the story come to life. The narrator, Jackson Gutierrez does an amazing job at expressing the essence of every emotion in every moment throughout the book. On a personal note, I have somewhat of a personal attachment to being so intrigued by this book as it allows me to have somewhat of an understanding of what a loved one may possibly have experienced and may still be experiencing.

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really good book.

It was a good story. I read it for class, but ended up recommending to friends and family.

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Great book.

This was the last book my mother read before passing away. I was told by her best friend to read it. It was one of her favorite books. Glad I did.

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Great book

This book changed my life I've read it over ten times. I strongly recommend it. It's a fantastic, interesting read.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Raw and Real

An insightful production on the highs and lows of life.
The best book on how the poor are railroaded into the prison system.
I often thought that the reader was the author.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful