All Our brown-skinned Angels

Raúl Sánchez

"Words are like the clothes we wear - We wear them on our tongues"  
Raúl Sánchez

Raúl is the newest City of Redmond Poet Laureate. A self-taught poet who teaches poetry in Spanish at Evergreen High School through the Seattle Arts and Lectures (WITS) program, and at Denny International Middle School through the Jack Straw Culture Center. He currently volunteers for PONGO Teen Writing at the Juvenile Detention Center and occasionally at Casa Latina through Path With Art. In 2014, he was selected for the Jack Straw Writers Program. He was a mentor and a judge for the 2014 Poetry on Buses King County Metro Project and participate in the TEDx Salon event in Yakima. Raúl has conducted annual workshops for over ten years on the origins of the Day of the Dead in Tieton, WA and at he Phinney Neighborhood Association, among others. In 2018 he taught Bilingual Poetry workshops at Heritage University in Toppenish, WA and Yakima Community College including the Grandview Campus. He was a LitFuse Faculty member in 2008 and 2018. He held the Inaugural Poet in Residence position for the City of Burien 2018-2019. He wrote the libretto for Operetta "The Other Quest" with the score by Héctor J. Armienta performed by the Orquesta Northwest conducted by Paula Madrigal at the Broadway Performance Hall February 8th 2020. Raul dedicated a poem which is on display at the bus shelter alongSand Point Way NE in the Lake City / Cedar Park neighborhood related to the tragic event from March 27th 2019.
This year, he was commissioned by the City ofShoreline to create poems for their project “Voices in the Forest”. Many of his live readings can be found on the web: YouTube and Facebook live and His work has been published in numerous printed and on-line anthologies. He translated Ellen Ziegler's book for the Museum of Antique Mexican Toys February2020.“Words are like the clothes we wear, we wear them on our tongues” from his poem‘Breath’, inaugural collection "All Our Brown-Skinned Angels"MoonPath Press 2012.

Praise for all our brown-skinned angels

I opened All Our Brown-Skinned Angels, the
new collection of poems by Raúl
Sánchez, as a book of intimate, personal prayers. But the prevailing
Judeo-Christian theology is turned upside down in these poems. Here, the Earth
is sacred; Heaven is all around us; common gardeners, cooks, farmworkers are
brown and capable of performing miracles. Sánchez is a very wise poet, a shaman
of words, a soother, a healer, a teller of untold family stories. Images in
these poems may be stark, like “dogs on rooftops barking to the wind” in the
poem “Mexico City in Dali’s Eyes” but they are always effective in
communicating the poet’s compassionate view of the world. Raúl Sánchez is the
contemporary Nezahualcóyotl of the Northwest, who lives in damp Seattle, and as
he says, “I clean the moss off my shoes / fling the slugs off my porch,” and
has come out with wondrous poems in praise of life that ultimately are
liberating prayers for every day.

Francisco X. Alarcón

Mexican-American Raúl Sánchez raises his poetic voice in languages
twice removed from the indigenous language of his ancestors, but with well more
than double the fervor. Language is embodied in the essence of personal and
political struggle, as evidenced in these lines from the poem ”My Father Was a
Bracero”: “He didn’t want me to live / by my strong back, strong arms / but by
my words”. This ardent inaugural collection by Sánchez is filled with poems of
identity – cultural, familial and personal. All
Our Brown-Skinned Angels is part civil protest, part personal celebration,
completely impassioned.

Lana Hechtman Ayers,
MoonPath Press Series Editor

Raúl writes from
experience and desire. He moves effortlessly between worlds and languages. Here
are poems about naming things, where one comes from, the politics of borders
and skin, work and working, and most importantly family. I admire his
directness and his belief in the power of the poem

John Burgess, author
of Punk Poems

My favorite parts are the references to the culture behind you and your ability to
express the Nahuatl words