In these pages, poet and public intellectual Margaret Randall speaks of her own history and journey, of identity and crossing borders, and of the ethics involved in presenting another’s voice. She expounds on feminism, motherhood, sexuality, race and ethnicity, writing and the craft of poetry, photography, and El Corno Emplumado / The Plumed Horn, the ground-breaking bilingual literary journal she co-founded and edited out of Mexico City in the 1960s. But rather than a collection of Randall’s own texts, the tables are turned. The “talking stick” is passed from hand to hand among those who have interviewed and/or written about her over more than thirty years.
If there is a word that defines Randall, it is human. Today we have come to understand that the condition is not a mark of superiority; many species possess conviction, emotion, voice. Perhaps what differentiates us from other species is the complexity of our thought and the fact that what we think and do affects all other living beings—and the planet we share. Randall—poet, essayist, oral historian, photographer, social activist, and iconic figure in contemporary American culture—has given us more than 100 books of poetry, essay, and oral history. Here the reader will find her responses to the questions and concerns of others: the thoughtful and intimate voice of a woman at eighty, looking back on a lifetime of creativity and action.