I open All Our Brown-Skinned Angels, the new collection of poems by Raúl Sánchez, as a book of intimate, personal prayers. But the prevailing Judeo-Christian theology is turned upside down in these poems. Here, the Earth is sacred; Heaven is all around us; common gardeners, cooks, farmworkers are brown angels capable of performing miracles. Sánchez is a very wise poet, a shaman of words, a soother, a healer, a teller of untold family stories. Images in these poems may be stark, like “dogs on rooftops barking to the wind” in the poem “Mexico City in Dalí’s Eyes” but they are always effective in communicating the poet’s compassionate view of the world. Raúl Sánchez is the contemporary Netzalhuacóyotl of the Northwest, who lives in damp Seattle, and as he says, “I clean the moss off my shoes / fling the slugs off my porch,” and has come out with wondrous poems in praise of life that ultimately are liberating prayers for every day.
—Francisco X. Alarcón, Lecturer, Spanish and Portuguese Department, UCDavis
Raúl writes from experience and desire. He moves effortlessly between worlds and languages. Here are poems about naming things, where one comes from, the politics of borders and skin, work and working, and most importantly family. I admire his directness and his belief in the power of the poem.
—John Burgess, author of Punk Poems
Mexican-American Raúl Sánchez raises his poetic voice in languages twice removed from the indigenous language of his ancestors, but with well more than double the fervor. Language is embodied in the essence of personal and political struggle, as evidenced in these lines from the poem "My Father Was a Bracero": "He didn't want me to live / by strong back, strong arms / but by my words". This ardent inaugural collection by Sánchez is filled with poems of identity--cultural, familial and personal.. All our Brown-Skinned Angels is part civil protest, part personal celebration, completely impassioned.
—Lana Hechtman Ayers, MoonPath Press Series Editor