"Benís poetry has always been centered in the geography and cultures of the desert Southwest. Dark and Perfect Angels moves deeper into that territory, exploring the difficult braiding of Mexican, Indian and European traditions of his heritage, the struggles and complications of family life . . .and the secular quest for faith.
Indeed, this is a book about faith: a cry for honesty, compassion and community as antidotes to the cold-hearted self-interest that drives so much of American culture.ď óAlison Hawthorne Deming
The border between the United States and Mexico is a constant presence in Benjamin SŠenzís second book, a physical rift that becomes a metaphor for spiritual and psychological divisions. His poems blur the distinctions that clear lines and definitions imply; border arenít crossed so much as occupied. His strengths as a poet include candor, expansiveness, a capacity for wide and unsentimental sympathy and his ability to engage a complicated familial history without romanticizing its heroes or sorrows.