"Big Heart Poet is a book overflowing with all the vast experiences life has to offer. The poet skillfully weaves between beauty and sorrow, English and Spanish, joy and pain. I could hear Tony’s soulful voice in my head reading many of these poems as I traversed these pages, especially those I have heard during live performances such as “Latinos,” “We Are Poets,” and “Church of a Poem.” There are so many incredible poems in this volume it’s impossible for me to choose a favorite, and I’d likely list off the entire book, but here’s a few. I enjoyed his tributes to creative luminaries such as Frida Kahlo (“Frida” and “Buenos Noches, Frida”) and Avotcja (“Radio”), was deeply moved by his memoir poems of his grandmother (“Abuelita” and “Scratching her Elbows”), and the simple compassionate beauty of “Wheelchair.”
A fabulous collection from cover to cover. Highly recommend!"
- D.L. Lang | Vallejo Poet Laureate (2017-2019)
As a young man, I was a "carny." I would operate the rides at a small local carnival. These days I like to give out emotional roller coaster rides through spoken-word poetry at live shows.
After performing, people would always ask me if I had a book for sale. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn't. I knew I had enough poems to complete a book, I just needed to do it. To make it happen. To get my s#%t together! I mean...my book together. In the very sad year that was 2020, while at home on lockdown, I woke up sweating in the middle of a hot August night, stared into the mirror, and thought to myself...too many poets die with poems still inside them.
At that moment, I began working on my first poetry book. This book was written because it had to be written. Sometimes you have no choice. You must share your voice. If you're a poet, you were born that way.