Enrique began with the Crossroads Collaborative through his participation with the Tucson Youth Poetry Slam (TYPS). Enrique is best known for his recent book published by Spoken Futures Press, entitled Tortoise Boy Says. The debut collection from Tucson poet and renowned performer Enrique García includes a total of 19 poems written from 2011 to 2013, and tells the story of one year spent living in a desert city: cultura and reflection, struggle and beauty. In addition, he was the 2012 city wide slam poet champion.
TYPS shaped the way that Enrique approaches his passions. Since his participation in TYPS, Enrique has worked on creating and sharing poetry with the South Tucson community and has had the opportunity to represent Tucson in various spaces out of state. In 2012, Enrique was selected to form part of the first youth poetry slam team from Southern Arizona to compete at the Brave New Voices International Poetry Festival (BNV) in San Francisco, California. In 2013, Enrique’s essay, On The Power of Bilingualism, won the National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) essay award and he was flown out to Orlando, Florida to participate in the association’s annual conference. And just a couple days ago, Enrique returned from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania participating at BNV 2014, but this time as Future Corps (alumni of the festival who are chosen to organize the festival itself). Enrique notes that these experiences have taught him the power of spoken word and the importance to share the powerful messages of his story and the history of Chican@s—whoever they may be, villains or heroes. Although, Enrique has recently been moving into the art form of DJ-ing. He says: “Going through crates of old records to find something that somebody can enjoy is thrilling, but more so, learning to construct new sounds with music (he) re-discovers or have known about gives (him) a new inspiration to transmit (his) story.”
J. Sarah Gonzales, the codirector of Spoken Future Voices and Principal Consultant of TruthSarita describes Enrique as “a storyteller, whose art is informed by his knowledge, by the way he listens to others' experiences.” She adds that, “he is a youth organizer, an educator and an artist all rolled into one."
With both poetry and music, Enrique hopes to bring to light the side of Arizona that is often kept under the rug—the histories of brown faces of Barrios & Reservations, and ultimately, shift the narrative away from those who write textbooks and the blank page to the people who have been silenced.