Jimmy Santiago Baca

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Kurtis Wong
L. Muller
April 6, 2011
Teaching Proposal
The poet that I am willing to grasp the knowledge of is Jimmy Santiago. Santiago, a former inmate of a maximum security prison altered his life through the power of poetry and writing. The reason why I chose to delve into his philosophies is because he was a former prisoner. His life is inspirational due to the fact that I work at a local jail and witness the obscenities of the system and inmates. To dramatically change one’s life in prison, like Santiago, I would like to present his teaching forms of poetry, which include, Chicano Poetry, American Southwest barrios, addiction, injustice, education, community, and love. My presentation would cover the importance of Jimmy Santiago’s life, and the forms of his methods of poetry. First I will give a brief overview or biography of his life and the obstacles he had overcome to get where he is today. Second I will share some of his poetry in class and expand on the meanings of certain stanzas. In particular, the poems that I would like to share are “Count Time,” “A Daily Joy to be Alive,” and “I Am Offering This Poem.” Each line symbolizes the eloquence of his images and ties to families. I do believe that most if not all my peers can relate to him as I can. The belief that an inmate can change his life through literature and poetry inspires me to do well in my life and strive for excellence. Lastly, I would like to relay this valuable lesson to my peers. The message is that anything you would like to be is within grasping reach. It is critical to know about the life story of Jimmy Santiago and what he has become today and that is why I would like to teach the class about his inspiring ethics.

Jimmy Santiago has practiced the use of injustice, community, education and love. Within our discussions of Martin Luther King’s, Beloved Community, Santiago’s approach to poetry is similar to the teachings of Martin Luther King’s six principles...
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