Fernando Albert Salinas has been associated with California Poets in the Schools as a member of the Board of Directors, a Ventura County Area Coordinator, and as a Master Poet-Teacher for over 10 years. He is an Adjunct Professor of English at Ventura College, the Ventura County Area Coordinator and recitation coach for the California Arts Council’s Poetry Out Loud program, and the Editor-In-Chief for Spit Shine Publishing. As Literary Arts Program Coordinator for the Ventura County Arts Council, he focuses on enhancing the presence and appreciation of poetry, and the spoken word. His written poetry has appeared in several publications, including Askew, Solo, Miramar, and Lummox Press.
A young boy first discovers firearms by the side of his abuelito, sees violence first hand in a childhood home while dreaming closets to be portals only to apologize as an adult. As a young man he is caged alongside more young men, just like him, contemplating their own guilt. An abuelita in a crowded home of extended family prepares dinner to the specification of his conspiracy obsessed tio. As a grown man now, he sits in traffic, watching his fellow motorists attempt to capture selfies with a possible freeway suicide.
Fernando Albert Salinas's collection Toxic Masculinity is a rough book. These are poems that pull no punches. In the case of Salinas the phrase "brutal honesty" falls woefully short. Despite these scenes of cruelty, apathy and the pain we inflict upon each other for reasons often unknown to ourselves. At the center of this incredible work there is no malice. There is only a refusal to lie. And in that refusal Salinas captures our real faces in all our faults, in all our rages and stupors and yes our deep desire to do better.
This collection is an unwavering mirror, challenging and painful as it may be.
― Matt Sedillo, author of Mowing Leaves of Grass