Jimmy Santiago Baca is a Chicano-American poet, memoirist, activist, and native New Mexican. His books include the memoir A Place to Stand: The Making of a Poet, and the story collection, The Importance of a Piece of Paper. "Language placed my life experiences in a new context, freeing me for the moment to become with air as air, with clouds as clouds, from which new associations arose to engage me in the present life in a more purposeful way. His novel A Glass of Water tells the story of Casimiro and Nopal who carry with them the promise of a new beginning as young immigrants having made the nearly deadly journey across the border from Mexico. Baca's honors include an American Book Award, a Pushcart Prize, and the International Hispanic Heritage Award.