a jury of trees

Finalist, 2017 International Latino Book Awards: Best Poetry Book, One Author, English

“To know Andrés Montoya was to have your life changed. This long-awaited treasure reveals the genius of Montoya’s ferocious brilliance and the glory he saw everywhere and in everyone. a jury of trees is a loving and revolutionary act, edited with grace and expertise, published almost twenty years after Montoya’s premature death. Savor and be changed by the nine part masterpiece ‘generation,’ the epic manifesto ‘pákatelas,’ and the breathtaking leukemia poems. Shaped in Fresno and taken from us too soon, Montoya may have left the physical world, but his mark on American poetry is indelible and profound. There was simply no one like him, and there will never be.” —Lee Herrick, Fresno Poet Laureate

“Unapologetic as a poet, a speaker, a thinker, a brown man in white America—this is what I remember about [Montoya] most, and reading a jury of trees brings it all back again. . . . Daniel Chacón’s keen editorial eye and his intimate friendship with Andrés make this posthumous collection a gift from the beyond. It is a gift to poetry, to humanity, to the world. In the way we still heed Phil Levine’s verses, or how the central valley still echoes in the poems of Larry Levis, this body of work that spans Andrés’s adult life assures that we will continue to keep the poet and the man alive in our hearts and pens for generations to come.” — Tim Z. Hernández, author of All They Will Call You

To order this title, phone toll free (866) 965-3867 or email brp@asu.edu.

About the Canto Cosas series

This poetry series, which was initially supported by awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Arizona Commission on the Arts, is designed to give further exposure to Latina and Latino poets who have achieved a significant level of critical recognition through individual chapbooks and publication in periodicals or anthologies or both, but who in most cases have not had their own books of poetry published. Under the watchful eye of series editor, poet, and small press publisher Francisco Aragón, the books in Canto Cosas aim to reflect the aesthetic diversity in American poetry.


Andrés Montoya
Daniel Chacón
Author Bio: 

Andrés Montoya received his BA degree from California State University, Fresno, where he studied with Philip Levine and Corrinne Clegg Hales and cofounded the Chicano Writers and Artists Association with fellow student Daniel Chacón. He went on to earn his MFA degree from the Creative Writing Program at the University of Oregon, which was then directed by Garrett Hongo. Montoya published widely in such journals as the Santa Clara Review, in the grove, Bilingual Review/Revista Bilingüe, and Flies, Cockroaches, and Poets, His first book, the ice worker sings and other poems (Bilingual Press, 1999), was awarded the 1997 Chicano/Latino Literary Prize from the University of California, Irvine. The published collection later won a Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award in 2000.

Born on May 18th, 1968, Andrés Montoya died from leukemia on May 26th, 1999, at the age of 31. After his untimely death, the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize was created by Letras Latinas, the literary initiative of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame to honor Montoya and his work. The prize is awarded to a first book by a Latino/a poet residing in the United States and includes a cash prize and publication by the University of Notre Dame Press.

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