Alurista Criticism - Essay

Juan Gómez-Quiñones (essay date 1971)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: A Preface to Floricanto en Aztlán, The Chicano Studies Center: University of California, Los Angeles, 1971.

[In the following foreword to Alurista's first collection of poems, Gómez-Quiñones introduces Alurista to the reader, speaks of the importance of poetry to Chicano culture, and of Alurista's importance to Chicano poetry.]

Alurista has had a major impact on the Movement in poetry, symbols, views. His influence demands attention, hence the following presentation of one hundred of the poet's earliest work written during times seminal to the current renaissance, 1968-1969. Clearly the writings parallel the altering dynamic within the Movement. The...

(The entire section is 478 words.)

Joel Hancock (essay date 1972)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: A review of Floricanto in Aztlán, in Modern Language Journal, Vol. 56, No. 3, March 1972, pp. 181-2.

[In the following review, Hancock enumerates some charcteristic strengths of Alurista's poetry.]

Emerging from the Chicano movement is a distinctive literature which depicts the conditions of the Chicano and expresses his anxieties and expectations. In poetry, the best-known voice is Alurista (Alberto Baltazar Urista Heredia), and his Floricanto en Aztlán evinces the unique ness of Chicano writing with its rich cultural and linguistic legacies. The one hundred poems comprised in this collection represent the early period of the young...

(The entire section is 684 words.)

Juan Bruce-Novoa (essay date 1982)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: “The Teachings of Alurista: A Chicano Way of Knowledge,” in Chicano Poetry: A Response to Chaos, University of Texas Press, pp. 69-93, 1982.

[In the following essay, Bruce-Novoa offers a thematic reading of the first ten poems of Floricanto en Aztlán.]

Quetzalcóatl-Nanauatzin is the sun-god of the priests [Tlamatinime], who consider voluntary self-sacrifice the highest expression of their doctrine of the world and of life.

—Jacques Soustelle, La Pensée Cosmologique des Anciens Mexicains1

Alberto Urista, known as Alurista, has published three collections of poetry,...

(The entire section is 10769 words.)

Gary D. Keller (essay date 1982)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: “Alurista, Poeta-Antropologo, and the Recuperation of the Chicano Identity,” in Return: Poems Collected and New, Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, pp. xi-xlix, 1982.

[In the following essay, Keller asserts that Alurista's use of pre-Columbian elements in his poetry is intended to invigorate and validate Chicano cultural identity.]

This volume brings together one of Alurista's earliest and most celebrated works, Nationchild plumaroja (1972), and his latest book of poems, Dawn's Eye. Some of those who have studied Alurista's literary production over the last ten years or so—¡han pasado los años!—have noted the development and change of...

(The entire section is 12858 words.)

Cordelia Candelaria (essay date 1986)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: “Toward a Chicano Poetics: Alurista,” in Chicano Poetry: A Critical Introduction, Greenwood Press, 1986, pp.78-108.

[In the following essay, Candelaria explicates a number of Alurista's poems in order to demonstrate the nature of his cultural, spiritrual, and political concerns, and explore how his poetics has developed.]


More and more one finds references calling Alurista “the poet laureate” of la raza,1 a tribute meant to honor him by bestowal of the highest accolade available to him: the title of the preeminent poet of his entire people. Although this praise and the motivations behind it are...

(The entire section is 11737 words.)

Yves-Charles Grandjeat (essay date 1986)

(Poetry Criticism)

SOURCE: “Alurista's Flight to Aztlán: A Study in Poetic Effectiveness,” in Missions in Conflict: Essays on U.S.-Mexican Relations and Chicano Culture, Gunter Narr Verlag, 1986, pp. 123-31.

[In the following essay, Grandjeat argues that Alurista's poetry is more strongly spiritual than political.]

Alurista's work has been acknowledged both by critics and readers of Chicano poetry as an outstanding landmark. “A seminal figure,” according to Tomás Ybarra,1 he is considered by many as “the poet laureate of Aztlán.”2 But fame never comes alone: he has also been one of the most controversial Chicano writers. Indeed, while everybody has...

(The entire section is 3662 words.)