Heartbeats, Rhythms, And Fire is José Angel Figueroa’s newest poetry and prose collection. A major contributor to the Puerto Rican and Latinx literary movement in the United States., Figueroa is best known for his powerful social commentary, poetic storytelling, and visual imagery. His writings ar lyrical, rhythmic, and musical, sometimes autobiographical, and frequently politically charged; they do not fit neatly into one category.
In this volume, Figueroa explores universal themes of the human experience as well as contemporary issues of immigration, racial injustice, and colonialism. His narratives voice the realities of everyday people as well as the commitments and passions of activists who advance justice. Poems, personal essays, monologues, and elegies deliver an intriguing range of storytelling approaches. Figueroa invites the reader to question the origins of self, the roots of love, and the unpredictability vibrating from everyday life. His accounts of migration journeys and struggles against racism offer an insider perspective. Figueroa's narratives of immigration, poverty, and violence against women uplift the voices of everyday people while others relate the passion and fire of activists who toppled Puerto Rico's governor in 2019, Erica Garner who fought against police violence, and Oscar Lopez Rivera, the former Puerto Rican political prisoner.
"…This collection of voices created by José Angel Figueroa is what remains when you “can’t kill relentless faith born from the spirituals of stardust and many rivers.” — Peggy Robles-Alvarado, Award-winning poet
"…Here is poetry fully empowered by jazz-like rhythms that remind us of Coltrane in A Love Supreme…" — Pedro Lopez Adorno, Poet and novelist,
"… Figueroa’s Craft and Style / Speaks sounds / Of Heat and Soul…" — Amina Baraka, Poet, actress, author, and community organizer
"…Always filled with lucidity, love, refuge, respect, fulfillment and self-determination, Figueroa’s poetry is his liberation… his rite of passage… the necessary revolution for us all.” —Juan Sanchez, Visual artist and Professor of Art at Hunter College
Master artist Rudy Gutierrez created the book cover and interior artwork. His work has been described as "wall medicine," ancient yet contemporary, urban in a sense, and musical in feel. His work includes paintings, murals, artwork for album covers, films, US postal stamps, art books, and children's stories, that have received prestigious awards.
Activist, educator, and independent scholar, Iris Morales edited the collection. She has edited several anthologies including Voices From Puerto Rico: Post Hurricane Maria, Latinas: Struggles & Protests in 21st Century USA, and is the author of Through the Eyes of Rebel Women, the Young Lords: 1969 to 1976.