DR. RETANA'S AVAILABILITY 
FOR KEYNOTE SPEECHES OR ADDRESSING FACULTIES

 
I AM AVAILABLE TO SPEAK IN PUBLIC.  IF YOUR SCHOOL DISTRICT PURCHASES 1000 BOOKS OR MORE, THIS SERVICE COMES WITH THAT PURCHASE.  YOU CAN EMAIL ME AT : Dr.Retana@etaacharter.com

 
Image


Nicolas,
Thanks for sending the poems. I read them, think they are excellent. Certainly a firm voice in them, thought provoking stuff...I hope you have many more with the strength these have. They certainly rank you as one of the state's finest poets, and I don't say that lightly.
               ....Rudolfo A. Anaya
                    Author, Bless Me, Ultima

  

 
Ramon at 17.
Ramon at 17.
WELCOME TO THE SITE FOR
THE MEXICAN MEN CHRONICLES
This site is specifically developed as a resource tool for teachers and students who are reading the book.


The book is focused on the photographic and poetic journey of Ramon (my dad) and Hector Campos (my Uncle), two brothers who came to the United States for a better life. There will be other poems and short stories about other influential men in the lives of the brothers too.  Both brothers were adopted by their Aunt and Uncle: Josefa and Jose Campos. This is the last name they carried throughout their youth. When Ramon came to the United States, at 18, he went back to his birth name of Ramon Retana, because his Uncle Nicolas Retana sponsored him to the U.S. as if he were his father. I know it is a bit complicated, but that is how it was back in the day.  My Uncle Hector did not have to change his last name. 

Ramon, several years older, came to Las Cruces, New Mexico in 1948. He was 18 years of age. He was sponsored by his Uncle Nicolas  (my namesake), who was a foreman at Stahmann Farms. Mr. Stahmann wrote a letter ensuring that Ramon would be a productive worker and citizen. At that time, a letter from a businessman, which guaranteed employment went a long way in securing a "Green Card."

Hector came several years later and lived with our family in Los Angeles. Our Uncle Hector is very special to all of us. He has always been a very loving and generous man and remains so today.

Why tell the story through photos and poetry? Inspiration for a writer comes from many sources. I had been working on some new work when it dawned on me that this story needed to be shared. I find poetry to be more of a challenge than narrative--each word has so much more meaning.

Stylistically, I prefer free verse with patterns and rhythms.

Come back and check out this site, because I will be adding new things weekly.
Un abrazo fuerte, Nicolas.
 
Ramon is the second from the left and Hector is second from the right.
Ramon is the second from the left and Hector is second from the right.
The men in the village of San Francisco del Oro worked in the mine. Hector is standing fourth from the left.
The men in the village of San Francisco del Oro worked in the mine. Hector is standing fourth from the left.
 Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet believes to be interior and personal [but] which the reader recognizes as his own.

—Salvatore Quasimodo, New York Times (14 May 1960)

Image
Hit counter: 24766