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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Hispanic Literatures & Linguistics

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Luis Marentes

Second Advisor

Albert Lloret

Third Advisor

Stephanie Fetta

Fourth Advisor

Isabel Espinal

Subject Categories

American Studies | Comparative Literature | Digital Humanities | Latin American Languages and Societies | Latin American Literature | Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature


In this dissertation I present a literary history of poet and revolutionary Raúl Salinas. Born in 1934, Salinas left a major legacy for Latinx and Chicanx letters. I focus on narrating, for the first time in Spanish, the relationship between his prison radicalism and his poetic production. The time Salinas spent as a political prisoner in Leavenworth Penitentiary (1967-1972) was foundational to his political transformation and (re)education. Along with members of the Black Panthers, AIM, Puerto Rican Nationalists, and other radicalized Chicanos, these inmates formed study groups, networks of support, and established a newspaper to both combat the oppressive conditions of the prison and create spaces for solidarity connected to global social movements. Through textual studies, archival research, and literary analyses, I highlight the influence that these movements and moments had on Salinas’ poetry. His work expresses the complexity and creativity of the Chicano and Black Power Movements through his inclusion of jazz, corridos, tattoos, and graffiti in his poems. At the same time, his prolific production and ability to put his work in circulation while behind bars, facilitated his release from prison and his eventual path towards canonization. Salinas’ lifelong call to collective action, abolition, and visualizing radical possibilities, holds inspiration and guidance for today’s struggles for liberation.