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Guide to the Raul Salinas Papers, ca. 1950-1994
Special Collections M0774  
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Bibliography

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Raul Salinas Papers,
    Date (inclusive): ca. 1950-1994
    Collection number: Special Collections M0774
    Creator: Salinas, Raul
    Extent: ca. 20 linear ft.
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions:


    Publication Rights:

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.


    Purchased from Raul Salinas, 1995.

    Preferred Citation:

    [Identification of item] Raul Salinas Papers, M0774, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


    Raul / Roy / "Tapon" Salinas was born in San Antonio, Texas on March 17, 1934. He was raised in Austin, Texas from 1936 to 1956, when he moved to Los Angeles. In 1957 he was sentenced to prison in Soledad State Prison in California. Over the span of the next 15 years, Salinas spent eleven years behind the walls of state and federal penitentiaries. It was during his incarceration in some of the nation's most brutal prison systems that Salinas' social and political consciousness was shaped. His prison years were prolific ones, including creative, political, and legal writings, as well as an abundance of correspondence. In 1963, while in Huntsville, he began writing a jazz column called "The Quarter Note" which ran for eighteen months. In Leavenworth he played a key role in founding and producing two important prison journals, Aztlan de Leavenworth and New Era Prison Magazine. It was in these journals that his poetry first circulated and gained recognition within and outside of the prison walls. As a spokesperson, ideologue, educator, and jailhouse lawyer of the prisoner-rights movement, Salinas also became an internationalist who saw the necessity of making alliances with others. This vision continues to inform his political and poetic practice. Initially published in the inaugural issue of Aztlan de Leavenworth, "Trip thru a Mind Jail" (1970) became the title piece for a book of poetry published by Editorial Pocho Che in 1980. With the assistance of several professors and students at the University of Washington -Seattle, Salinas obtained early release from Marion Federal Penitentiary in 1972. As a student at the University of Washington, Salinas worked in various community development projects and forged alliances with Native American groups in the Northwest, a relationship that was to intensify over the next fifteen years. Although Salinas writes of his experiences as a participant in the Native American Movement, it is a dimension of his life that has received scant attention. In the twenty-two years since his release from Marion, Salinas' involvement with various political movements has earned him an international reputation as an eloquent spokesman for justice. Salinas literary reputation in Austin has earned him recognition as the poet laureate of the East Side and the title of "maestro" from emerging poets who seek his advice and leadership. His literary work is perhaps most widely known for its street aesthetics and a sensibility which documents the interactions, hardships, and strife of barrio and prison life. The influence of jazz within his oeuvre connects it with the work of "Beat Generation" poets, musicians, and songwriters. His poetry collections include dedications, references, and responses to Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski, Charles Parker, Herschel Evans, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, for example. This guide was written by Emmet Campos, Dana Maya Maynard, Louis Mendoza at the University of Texas at Austin in spring 1994. The Raul Salinas Collection was processed in spring 1998 by Scott Boehnen and Erika Beer of the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University.


    1934 -1936 San Antonio, Texas.
    1936 -1956 Austin, Texas.
    1956 -1957 Los Angeles, California.
    1957 -1959 Soledad State Prison, California.
    1959 -1961 Austin, Texas.
    1961 -1965 Texas State Prison, Huntsville, Texas.
    1963 -1965 Publishes prose; poetry; and "The Quarter Notes," a monthly jazz column for The ECHO (Huntsville, TX).
    1965 -1967 Austin, Texas.
    1967 -1971 U.S. Federal Penitentiary, Leavenworth, Kansas.
    1969 -1971 Assistant editor of New Era Prison Magazine, Leavenworth Penitentiary
    1969 Cofounder of Chicanos Organizados de Rebeldes de Aztlan, study group at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary, Kansas.
    1970 -1971 Editor and writer for Aztlan de Leavenworth (prison journal publication).
    1971 -1972 U.S. Federal Penitentiary, Marion, Illinois.
    1971 -1972 Member of Federal Prisoners International Coalition, Federal Penitentiary, Marion, Illinois
    1972 Drafting committee member for "Brainwashing Techniques in Prison" (report on prison abuses). Marion, IL.
    1972 -1976 Member of Centro de la Raza; Assistant Director, Jose Marti Day Care Center; cofounder of Resistencia Bookstore in the Centro, Seattle, Washington
    1972 -1977 Seattle, Washington.
    1973 publishes Viaje/Trip (chapbook) Providence: Brown University.
    1973 Counselor for Office of Minority Affairs, University of Washington, Seattle
    1974 Edits Vortice (journal). Stanford: Stanford UP.
    1974 Reads for Festival Flor y Canto I, U.S.C.
    1974 Reads for Festival Sexto Sol, Stanford University.
    1974 Reads for Festival Santa Clara.
    1974 -1976 Member of the American Indian Movement Northwest Chapter; presenter for Indian/Chicano Education, Seattle, Washington.
    1975 -1977 Media Spokesperson and Trail Coordinator for Survival of American Indians, Frank's Landing, Washington.
    1977 -1978 San Francisco, California.
    1975 Participates in Venceremos Brigade to Cuba.
    1976 Coordinates Cross-country Educational Caravan, Trail of Self Determination, Washington State to Washington D.C.
    1977 Participates in Venceremos Brigade to Cuba
    1977 -1980 Cofounder of the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, Seattle, Washington; Rapid City, South Dakota; and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
    1978 -1979 Lecturer, Spanish and Portuguese, Chicano Studies, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
    1978 -1980 Seattle, Washington
    1979 Spokesman for Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, Puerto Rico.
    1980 Spokesman for Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, Canada.
    1980 Publishes Un Trip Through the Mind Jail y Otras Excursions. San Francisco: Editorial Pocho Che, 1980.
    1980 -1985 Austin, Texas.
    1980-1986 Leonard Peltier Support Group (founder), Austin, Texas
    May 1980 Representative for Leonard Peltier at Canto Al Pueblo: A Four Arrows Symposium, Mesa, Arizona.
    July 1980 Participates in Annual Youth and Elders Conference, Philip Deere's Camp, Okemah, Oklahoma.
    May 1981 Leads four-person delegation to Yellow Thunder Camp, South Dakota.
    June 1981 Leads four-person Austin delegation to Annual Memorial, Oglala, South Dakota.
    1981 Spokesperson for Leonard Peltier Defense Committee at the NGO Conference on Indigenous Philosophy and the Land in Geneva, Switzerland.
    1981 Delegate and translator, International Indian Treaty Council, Nicaragua (for U.N. Seminar on Racial Discrimination).
    1981 Board Member of El Centro Chicano, Austin, Texas.
    1981-1984 League of United Chicano Artists (LUChA), Board Member; Cultural Advisor Co-Director (1988-1990).
    1981 -1985 Visiting Lecturer in RTF and CMAS, University of Texas at Austin.
    1981, '82, '87 Consultant and international delegate, International Indian Treaty Council.
    1982 Participates in Venceremos Brigadeto Cuba.
    January 1982 Attends American Indian Movement (AIM) Summit & Leadership Conference, San Francisco, CA.
    June 1982 Leads four-person delegation from Austin to June 26 Memorial, Oglala, South Dakota.
    1982 -1994 Proprietor, Resistencia Bookstore, Austin, Texas.
    1982-1994 Founder, editor, and publisher, Red Salmon Press, Austin, Texas.
    July 1984 Attends International Indian Treaty Conference, Sisseton-Wahpheton Reservation, South Dakota. Austin delegation representing the LPDC and Artistas Indigenas.
    1985 -1986 St. Louis, Missouri.
    1985 -1986 Campaign Coordinator, Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (St. Louis, Missouri).
    1986 -1994 Austin, Texas.
    1986 -1989 Youth counselor, South Austin Youth Services.
    1987 Delegate and interpreter for International Indian Treaty Council in Geneva, Switzerland,
    1987 Delegate for International Indian Treaty Council in Tripoli, Libya, North Africa
    1988-1994 Workshop coordinator, Communities in Schools, Austin, TX.
    1990 Reads at Inter-American Book Fair, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, San Antonio, Texas.
    1991 Reads at First Netzahualcoytl Poetry Festival, Mexican Museum of Art, Chicago, Illinois.
    1992 Translates for reading by Ernesto Cardenal, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, San Antonio, Texas.
    1993 Reads at Inter-American book fair at Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, San Antonio, Texas.
    1993-1994 Member, City of Austin Charter Review Committee.
    1994 East of the Freeway: Reflections de mi Pueblo. Austin:Red Salmon Press, 1994.


    The materials in the collection span from the late 1950s through 1994, and they consist of printed, visual and oral texts. Raul Salinas' writing and political activism reflect a multiplicity of interests and a hybrid of influences. His poetry is formally influenced by the Beat Movement in American literature but derives much of its force from Chicano culture and politics. His literary and political work also evidences his debt to, and influence upon, the American Indian movement and Latin American politics; in this way, Salinas' work typically crosses national traditions and generic forms. The content of the collection is extensive and varied. Series I houses the original manuscripts of Salinas' published and unpublished poetry, essays, and journalism. For example, the original manuscripts of poems which ultimately compose Un Trip Through the Mind Jail y Otras Excursions (Pocho Che, 1980) are herein preserved. Also included are unpublished works such as El Embruje de mi Tio Juan and Tu Mujer; a collection of poetry; and several other manuscripts at varying levels of completion. Recent works represented in the collection are East of the Freeway: Reflections de mi Pueblo and Indio Trails: A Chicano Odyssey through Indian Country. Series II gathers correspondence from the mid-1960s through 1994. These materials trace Salinas' literary and political development through debate and dialogue with such figures as Americo Paredes, Tomas Rivera, Luis Valdez, Jose Montoya, Ricardo Sanchez, Reimundo "Tigre" Perez, Alurista, Juan Felipe Herrera, Fernando Algeria, Francisco Alarcon, Javier Pacheco, Gary Soto, Tomas Ybarra-Frausto, Nina Serrano, Roberto Vargas, Jose Angel Gutierrez, Jose Limon, Joseph Sommers, Stan Steiner, Carlota Cardenas Dwyer, Marcela Trujillo, Lauro Flores, Tom Parson, Juan Rodriguez, Juan Bruce-Novoa, Antonia Castaneda, Leonard Peltier, John Trudell, William Kunstler, and others, including many prisoners whom Salinas met during incarceration. Salinas' prison experiences, which date from 1957 through 1972, contributed significantly to his development as artist, activist, and scholar. Among other documents, Series III includes landmark litigation initiated by various prisoner-rights groups, of which Salinas was an active member. Salinas' activities with the American Indian Movement (A.I.M.) and the International Indian Treaty Council, for which he served as a delegate, spokesperson, and translator, are documented in Series X. This portion of the Collection includes official reports and position papers, many of which he co-authored, as well as internal correspondence related to such cases as Wounded Knee and the Pine Ridge incident, which ultimately involved Leonard Peltier. The Collection contains Salinas' assortment of rare literary and political texts, journals, magazines, and newspapers in Series VIII. Among these are Fuego de Aztlan (1976); Corazon de Aztlan (1971), La Voz de Aztlan (Vol. 1, Nos. 1-2), Aztlan de Leavenworth (1970-71); New Era (1970-71); La Raza (Vol. 1, Nos. 1-12), El Travieso (1969); Miquiztli (de Estanfort) (1972-1977); Canto al Pueblo (1978); El Pocho Che (all editions); Rasca Tripas (1970); Regeneracion (1970); Magazin (Vol. 1, Nos. 1-9); Sin Fronteras (all editions); Tejidos (all editions); and Con Safos (all editions) Additionally, Salinas has preserved original copies of all the journals, magazines, and anthologies where his work first appeared. The Collection houses various personal documents, photographs, videos, recordings, and an assortment of miscellaneous items such as fliers, posters, buttons, and decals (for instance, those of Floricanto, Canto al Pueblo, and other festivals). Series V contains the only still photos of performers at the First Annual Floricanto Festival held at the University of Southern California Campus in 1973, as well as numerous photos from the Huntsville, Leavenworth, and Marion prisons.



    • Notebook with "Contemplation Breeds" poem, ms. 1962.
    • "East of the Freeway: Reflections de Mi Pueblo." Poems and fragments, ms.
    • "East of the Freeway: Reflections de Mi Pueblo." Original ts.
    • "East of the Freeway: Reflections de Mi Pueblo." Draft #3, ts.
    • "El Embruje de mi Tio Juan." Unpublished collection of short stories, ts.
    • "Indio Trails." Unpublished collection of poems, ms.
    • "Mural Destruction Painful Loss for Chicanos," ts.
    • "Music for the Masses." Unpublished collection of fiction and poetry, ts.
    • "Poemas en Espanol." Unpublished collection of poems, ms.
    • "Poemas en Espanol." Unpublished collection of poems, ts.
    • "Portrait of an Artist," ts.
    • "Prison Journals." Unpublished journals, ms and ts.
    • "Un Trip Through the Mind Jail y Otras Excursions." Poems and fragments, ms.
    • "Un Trip Through the Mind Jail y Otras Excursions." Unedited notebook, ts.
    • "Un Trip Through the Mind Jail y Otras Excursions." Edited notebook, ts.
    • "Tu Mujer." Unpublished collection of poems, ts, galleys.


    Books and Chapbooks

    • [Salinas, Raul, et. al.] "Brainwashing Techniques in Prison." Marion, IL, 1972.
    • Viaje/Trip. Providence, Rhode Island: Hellcoal Press, 1973.
    • Un Trip Through the Mind Jail y Otras Excursions. San Francisco: Pocho Che, 1980.
    • East of the Freeway: Reflections de mi Pueblo. Austin: Red Salmon Press, 1994
    • "A Trip Through the Mind Jail." In Aztlan: An Anthology of Mexican-American Writings. Ed. Stan Steiner and Luis Valdez. Vintage Press, 1972.
    • Selected poems in Literatura Chicana: Texto y Contexto. Ed. Antonia Castaneda-Shular, Tomas Ybarra and Joseph Sommers. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1972.
    • Selected poems in We Are Chicanos. Ed. Philip Ortego. Washington Square Press, 1973.
    • "Journey II." Voices of Azlan. Eds. Dorothy Harth and Louis Baldwin. New York: Mentor, 1973. pp. 192-96.
    • "Sinfonia serana." Chicano Voices. Eds. Carlota Cardenas-Dwyer and Tino Villanueva. New York: Houghton-Mifflin, 1975. pp. 133-35.
    • Selected poems in Time to Greez!: Incantations of the Third World. Ed. Janice Mirikitani and Roberto Vargas. San Francisco: Glide Publishing Company, 1974.


    • Salinas, Raul. "The Quarter Notes," (monthly Jazz column). The ECHO. Huntsville, TX, 1963-1965.
    • "Portrait of an Artist." Entrelineas. Vols. 5 & 6. (1970).
    • "Some notes on Semantics in the Joint." Entrelineas. 1. 1 (1970).
    • "A trip through the mind jail." Aztlan de Leavenworth. 1. 1 (May, 1970).
    • "Nueva estrella en el horizonte." Aztlan de Leavenworth. 1. 1 (May, 1970).
    • A trip through the mind jail." Caracol. (1970).
    • "Nueva estrella en el horizonte." La Raza. 1.2 (1970): 79.
    • "A Trip Through the Mind Jail." La Raza. 1.2 (1970): 80.
    • "Los Caudillos." La Raza. 1.4 (Jan 1971): 49.
    • "Pa' un coco: ciego/sordo/mudo." La Raza. 1.5 (1971): 49.
    • "The Poetry of Radi Salinas." Magazin. 1. 1 (Oct., 1971): 24-26.
    • "Portrait of an Artist." Entrelineas. 1.5-6 (Oct.-Dec., 1971): 3-5.
    • "Muse Moving Mountain;" "Pesadilla." Caracol. (Nov., 1975).
    • "Homenaje al Pachuco;" "Sinfonia serana;" "el tecato." Tejidos 2.7 (Fall 1975): 5-9.
    • "Love/War [a metamorphosis of sorts]." Metamorfosis. 1. 1 (Spring, 1977): 17.
    • [Raul Salinas and Yvonne Yarbro-Bejarano]. "Teatro Review of Short Eyes." Metamorfosis. 2.1-2 (Summer, 1979): 26-35.
    • "Un trip through the mindjail." Kite: A magazine of prison writings, 1981.
    • "Mural Destruction Painful Loss for Chicanos.' El Aviso. Jun.-Jul. 1982.

    Studies on Salinas


    • Binder, Wolfgang. "Anglos are Weird People for Me": Interviews with Chicanos and Puerto Ricans. Berlin: John F. Kennedy Institute Fur Nordamerikastudien, Freic Universitat, 1979.
    • "Interview with Raul Salinas." Partial Autobiographies: Interviews with 20 Writers. Ed. W.B. Erlagen. W. Germany: Verlag, Palm, and Erke, 1985.
    • "Clasico of the Month: Raul (Tapon) Salinas." The Vajito Interview. Sept. 1981.
    • Ybarro-Frausto, Tomas. "Tirando Rollo con Tapon: Toricas infonnales & Interviews ineditos." 1973.
    • Mendoza, Louis. "Re-Reading the Body: The Cultural Poetics and Politics of Pinto Art." Cristina Ibarra, videographer. Austin: 1993.


    • Roderick, Rod. Review of Un Trip through the Mind Jail y Otras Excursiones, by Raul Salinas. The Pawn Review. n.d.
    • Herndon, John. "Intimacies of the Ear." Duende Magazine. Sept. 1988.
    • Cardenas, Reyes. Review of Un Trip Through the Mind Jail. Caracol. (1976).

    Critical Essays

    • Bruce-Novoa, Juan. "Rescuing the World Center." Chicano Poetry: A Response to Chaos. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1982. pp. 14-47.
    • Candelaria, Cordelia. Chicano Poeta: A Critical Introduction. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1986.
    • Flores, Lauro. Converging Languages in a World of Conflicts." Visible Language. 21.1 (1987).
    • Garza, Mario. "Duality in Chicano Poetry." De Colores. 3.4 (1977).

    Theses and Presentations

    • Ericson, David. "Prison Literature and the Question of Genre: The Case of Raul Salinas." Master's Thesis. (Dec 1989, University of Texas at Austin).
    • Olguin, Ben. "Genealogy of the Pachuco as a Cultural Icon: From Social Pariah to Vernacular Intellectual." Presentation. (Nov 1993, Stanford University).


    • Cambon, Glauco. "Raul Salinas: Una Nuova Voce Della Poesia Americana." Annali Di Ca' Foscari 10 (1978).
    • Cisneros, Sandra. "Los Tejanos: A Testimony to the Silenced." Texas Humanist. Nov. -Dec. 1984. Grajeda, Rafael. "The Pachuco in Chicano Poetry: The Process of Legend Creation." Revista Chicano-Riquena.
    • Reece, Ray. "Busting Out of the Mind Jail." 1982. [unpublished ms.]
    • Salas, Abel. "Jazz Jaunts and East Side Haunts: Continuing Conversations with Raul Salinas." [unpublished ms.]
    • Valdez, Bill. "Raul Salinas Offers Riches of Knowledge." American Statesman. 3 (Nov. 1983).

    Literary Dedications

    • Acosta, Teresa Paloma. "poem sobre raul." Passing Time. Austin: Eakins Press, 1985
    • Aida. "Raul Salinas"
    • Algarin, Miguel. "Poema Sexto Sol." Mongo Affair. New York: Nuyorican Press, 1978.
    • Garcia, Amoldo. "maiztro rafil."
    • Jimenez, Chuy, "Tapon."
    • Montoya, Jose. "La Reina Mancornadora." Information: 20 Years of Joda. San Jose: Chusma House, 1992.
    • Sierra, Ruben. To Raul (El Tapon) Poeta de Aztlan, 1974.
    • Warren, Charles [Shaka]. "To a Revolutionary Poet From a Revolutionary Poet." Leavenworth Prison, 1971.