Promises of Gold by Jose Olivarez
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A groundbreaking collection of poems addressing how every kind of love—self, brotherly, romantic, familial, cultural—is birthed, shaped, and complicated by the invisible forces of gender, capitalism, religion, and so on. But even though the path to love is not easy, it is a path worth treading.
Love is at the heart of everything we do, and yet it is often mishandled, misrepresented, or narrowly defined. In the words of José Olivarez: “How many bad lovers have gotten poems? How many crushes? No disrespect to romantic love—but what about our friends? Those homies who show up when the romance ends to help you heal your heart. Those homies who are there all along—cheering for us and reminding us that love is abundant.”
Written in English and combined with a Spanish translation by poet David Ruano, “Promises of Gold explores many forms of love and how “a promise made isn’t always a promise kept,” as Olivarez grapples with the contradictions of the American Dream laying bare the ways in which “love is complicated by forces larger than our hearts.”