raúlrsalinas and the Jail Machine: My Weapon Is My Pen by Raúl Salinasraúlrsalinas and the Jail Machine: My Weapon Is My Pen by Raúl Salinas

raúlrsalinas and the Jail Machine: My Weapon Is My Pen

byRaúl SalinasEditorLouis G. Mendoza

Paperback | July 1, 2006

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 263 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Raúl R. Salinas is regarded as one of today's most important Chicano poets and human rights activists, but his passage to this place of distinction took him through four of the most brutal prisons in the country. His singular journey from individual alienation to rage to political resistance reflected the social movements occurring inside and outside of prison, making his story both personal and universal.

This groundbreaking collection of Salinas' journalism and personal correspondence from his years of incarceration and following his release provides a unique perspective into his spiritual, intellectual, and political metamorphosis. The book also offers an insider's view of the prison rebellion movement and its relation to the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s and 1970s. The numerous letters between Salinas and his family, friends, and potential allies illustrate his burgeoning political awareness of the cause and conditions of his and his comrades' incarceration and their link to the larger political and historical web of social relations between dominant and subaltern groups. These collected pieces, as well as two interviews with Salinas—one conducted upon his release from prison in 1972, the second more than two decades later—reveal to readers the transformation of Salinas from a street hipster to a man seeking to be a part of something larger than himself. Louis Mendoza has painstakingly compiled a body of work that is autobiographical, politically insurgent, and representative.

Raúl R. Salinas lives in Austin, Texas, where he owns Resistencia Bookstore, a neighborhood center for aspiring writers and a gathering place for activists. Louis G. Mendoza is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Chicano Studies at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Title:raúlrsalinas and the Jail Machine: My Weapon Is My PenFormat:PaperbackDimensions:358 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.75 inPublished:July 1, 2006Publisher:Center for Mexican American StudiesLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292713282

ISBN - 13:9780292713284

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Raúl Salinas and the Poetics of Human Transformation
  • Section I: Salinas' Journalism
    • Articles from The Echo, Texas State Prison, Huntsville
      • Quartered Notes (January 1964-May 1965, Monthly Columns)
      • "So Much Mystery, So Much Misunderstanding," Thanksgiving Day, 1964
    • Articles from Aztlán de Leavenworth, Kansas Federal Penitentiary
      • "On the Hitory of C.O.R.A. and Aztlán"
      • Aztlán's Statement of Philosophy (Numero 1, Año 1, 5 de Mayo de 1970
      • "Music for the Masses" (Número 1, Año 2, 2 de Febrero de 1972)
      • "Editor's Notes" (Número 1, Año 2, 2 de Febrero de 1972)
      • "Repaso" (Número Uno, Año Dos, 2 de Febrero de 1972)
    • Articles from New Era, Kansas Federal Penitentiary, Leavenworth
      • "New Era, Now Era: Note from the Editor" (Fall 1970, 4-5)
      • "Sometimes, Champs Turn Up in the Strangest Places" (Fall 1970, 42-45)
      • "An Essay on Semantics in the Joint" (Spring 1971, 25)
    • Article from Entrelíneas, Penn Valley Community College, Kansas City, Missouri
      • "Portrait of an Artist" (Vol. 1, no. 5-6, pp. 3-5)
  • Section II: Flying Kites to the World: Letters, 1968-1974
  • Section III: The Marion Strike: Journals from "el pozo"
    • "Seeking Justice and Liberation" (August 5, 1972)
    • "Call to Action" (July 17, 1972)
  • Section IV: Post-Prison Interviews
    • "Resisting Mindfuck," from Sunfighter (1974)
    • Una Plática con Raúl Salinas: An Interview by Ben Olguín and Louis Mendoza (1994)
  • Bibliography