Online Poetry Book Club: Promises of Gold

“How many bad lovers have gotten poems? How many crushes? No disrespect to romantic love―but what about our friends? Those homies who are there all along―cheering for us and reminding us that love is abundant.”

In this groundbreaking collection of poems, José Olivarez explores every kind of love―self, brotherly, romantic, familial, cultural. Grappling with the contradictions of the American Dream with unflinching humanity, he lays bare the ways in which “love is complicated by forces larger than our hearts.”

Whether readers enter this collection in English or via the Spanish translation by poet David Ruano González, these extraordinary poems are sure to become beloved for their illuminations of life―and love.


“Glistening. . . . Olivarez elevates small but notable moments through a sensitive, introspective speaker who must learn tough lessons on the streets of Calumet City. . . Bilingual readers will enjoy flipping back and forth to see how the prism of each poem changes its hue in the light of another language.”
―Booklist starred review

“This book reads like an ode to people of color who are handed a broom, assumed to be the help, when in reality we are equal. He’s rewriting the history of colonization and challenging us to unlearn its impacts one poem at a time.”
―Chicago Reader

José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants. His debut book of poems, Citizen Illegal, was a finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Award and a winner of the 2018 Chicago Review of Books Poetry Prize. It was named a top book of 2018 by the Adroit Journal, NPR, and the New York Public Library. Along with Felicia Chavez and Willie Perdomo, he coedited the poetry anthology The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext. He cohosts the poetry podcast The Poetry Gods.
Promises of Gold By José Olivarez, David Ruano (Translated by) Cover Image
By José Olivarez, David Ruano (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781250878472
Availability: Available - We'll have it for you ASAP!
Published: Holt Paperbacks - February 20th, 2024

Event date: 
Monday, May 20, 2024 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
304 S. Elm St.
Greensboro, NC 27401