A visual and verbal narrative of the grit and gentleness in Southwestern Latinx communities through photography by Antonio Salazar and poetry by José Olivarez, author of Citizen Illegal.
Guns, tattoos, pit bulls, and cars appear alongside a tender aubade, a couple holding hands, a baby bathing in a kitchen sink; landscapes and skylines in Phoenix and Los Angeles show palm trees and messy garages; long white socks and acrylic nails of younger generations meet the smiles and traditions of elders. In a society that would rather disappear or ignore its own grittier dimensions, Salazar’s work is both a refusal to be silenced and a love letter to the communities that sing, dance, live, and love, in their own beautiful and dangerous ways.
Alongside Salazar’s powerful visual narrative, a series of poetry by José Olivarez appears throughout the book. Each poem “speaks” in its own way—to, of, with, and beyond the subjects of Salazar’s photos—with humor, honesty, and compassion. These artists together in Por Siempre are a force: expanding and lifting each other’s best parts, as those in sincere and caring communities often do.