Jorie Graham, The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994 (Hopewell, NJ, 1995).

Thomas Gardner, Regions of Unlikeness: Explaining Contemporary Poetry (Lincoln, NE, 1999).

James Longenbach, Modern Poetry after Modernism (New York, 1997).

Gary Soto is a leading presence in Chicano poetry - the writing of the Mexican American community. His poetry and prose often record his childhood experiences growing up in California's San Joaquin Valley, and the struggles and hardships of the Mexican American factory and farm laborers. The stories are told in a direct, spare style in language that is clear and accessible. The lines are often short, pushing the poem on to the inevitability of its narrative conclusion.

Soto was born in Fresno, California, and his parents were American citizens, although Soto's poetry illustrates that exact status makes little difference in the challenge of assimilation. In "Mexicans Begin Jogging" the border patrol descends on a group of workers, who are told to run by the

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