Click here to read a few
poems in the book.
“‘La vida contigo es un tango. Life with you is a tango, / sometimes tricky, sometimes sweaty, always bold, / daring, grace, guts, and comedy!’ In ‘El Tango,’ one of many tributes to the woman he adores, poet and storyteller Armando Garcia-Dávila sums up his artful dance. With love up his sleeve—charming, savvy—he moves across life’s floor, hugging his Mexican roots, embracing spirituality. Betrayed by the Catholic Church of his youth, the poet steps back from institutions, trusting instead the tell-tale intimacy of family and community. In ‘American God,’ a prose-poem, he revisits his questioning childhood. ‘Other kids went to church in newer cars, with newer clothes, with newer parents. . . . But if we praised the same God in the same way, then why did He bless them so much more than us?’ To the beat of one heart, Armando Garcia-Dávila’s Profile shines a lyric light into America’s ballrooms, backyards, and closets.”
—Al Young, California’s poet laureate emeritus
"This lovely, well-written book of verse and stories touched my heart. These poems and stories travel back and forth in time evoking childhood memories of the Catholic Church paired with a writer’s close analysis of the betrayal of innocence and the senselessness of war. However, interwoven throughout these painful moments is a poet’s eye for finding those moments in life which also heal. Lines such as ‘And the only sounds interrupting this immense meditation would be the wisps of butterfly wings, and a prayerful chant quietly echoing in each canyon.
“Love.” “Love.” “Love.” ’
Those words help to remind us, that despite the perplexity of life, there is tremendous power in the transformative act of remembering and being present to the beauty of living.”
—Ianthe Brautigan Swensen, author of You Can’t Catch Death (2001)
"How wonderful to have in hand this hot book. Call it ‘An Armando Garcia-Dávila Reader.’ A collection of new and old work, poems, prose poems, and stories, it explores love, death, sex, and labor. The author’s voice cries out from the wilderness, laments the loss of faith and celebrates the renewal of faith in poems that shock, arouse, and evoke the beauty of earthly and heavenly bodies and extoll the earth itself. In Profile: Poems and Stories, Garcia-Dávila reveals himself as a dreamer waking to the agony and the ecstasy of life, rousing and arousing readers from sleep, from forgetfulness and from their own addictions.”
—Jonah Raskin, author of Rock ‘n’ Roll Women, (2012) and
A Few French Scenes (2013)
"A writer’s heart displayed is a beautiful thing, especially when the view includes honesty, courage, and wisdom. In his new book, Profile, Armando Garcia-Dávila shows us the passionate, loving, laughing, angry, proud, and wise heart that beats in his chest. At first flush these forty-seven poems and seven stories feel safe and warm, like Armando’s studio on a hilltop in Santa Rosa, until you realize the risks he takes—and asks us to take—in many of his pieces.
‘Want to be free?’ Armando asks. ‘Lay your ego by the side of the road and in your sternest voice give the command, “Stay!” Then run like hell until you can’t hear its protests anymore.’
In ‘The Muse,’ Armando writes: ‘Poetry barged through my door one day. . . . When in good humor, she gave herself without pause or shame, and the verses flowed freely. . . . Other times she ripped a tooth from my jawbone in barter for a single line.’
Armando’s love poems do what the finest of that genre always have: make us feel what we’re called upon to give and receive to call ourselves human. Armando is a Sonoma County treasure, and in the world I want to live in he’d be a treasure in all of California and beyond, wherever the young, the sensitive, the passionate, the hungry, the hurt, the abandoned, and the brave demand respect and truth.”
—David Beckman, author of Language Factory of the Mind (2012)
Profile is the English companion book to Armando Garcia-Dávila's English/Spanish book Perfil.
Armando Garcia-Dávila burst upon the Sonoma County literary world in the latter part of the 1990s. What started as a series of op. ed. pieces he wrote concerning the First Persian Gulf War and the memories of friends killed in the Vietnam War, turned to poetry to express wide ranging thoughts rooted in his Mexican-American/Catholic upbringing. To make clear his humble background, he called himself the “blue-collar” poet.
Newspaper columnist Ray Holley wrote at the time, “Be sure to check out Armando. . . . (while) you still have a chance to see him in an intimate setting before he becomes justly famous for his work.”
His poems have been widely published and also found their way into union newsletters and Sunday pulpits. He has read his poetry to immigrant laborers in the vineyards and prisoners in San Quentin. In 2002, he was chosen as the Healdsburg Literary Laureate.
Armando’s biggest supporters are his wife, Kathy, his two grown children, Cecilia and Emilio, and his twin brother, Fernando.