"[T]he poetry scene in America is the largest, most diverse, and most vibrant it has ever been, and it's time for poetry-lovers associated with online media to strike a solid blow against the seedy, nigh-incoherent malcontentism of certain contemporary poetry critics. The robust state of poetry in America is evidenced, in part, by this non-exhaustive, unranked list of superlative books from the past 15 years, all of which are must-reads for those looking to push back against the gloom-and-doom of poetry's ambient naysayers:"
----Huffington Post, August 25, 2011
"Up Jump the Boogie (2010), John Murillo. Murillo's urban narratives are spellbinding and deceptively simple; the rhythm and pace of these poems captures the experiences of the author in a voice and with a grace every listener can appreciate and admire. These are not necessarily stories we haven't heard before, but that's part of their irresistible charm: one senses, with Up Jump the Boogie, that stories which have long needed telling, and continue to need telling, have in Murillo found the right person to do just that."
On a personal note, this: One of the highlights of my reading at ACENTOS: Bronx Poetry Showcase in March of 2007 was meeting John Murillo (and his mother, who was also in attendence!). I hadn't read any of his work yet, but I had read the great interview with Martín Espada that he conducted, and which was published in the Bloomsbury Review right around that time. When I was given the opportunity to guest edit an issue of Didi Menéndez's OCHO # 15, I remember I opted to gather a sampling of Latino/a poets who had not yet published a full-length book, and who hadn't been in The Wind Shifts, nor Momotombo Press, nor the Canto Cosas series at Bilingual Press. John graciously sent some work, and I've been a fan ever since. One of the other things I love about his book was John's decision to publish it with Cypher Books, a publishing venture that embodies what I love about small press publishing. And the book has done wonderfully on various fronts.