XXX (thirty) by Xavier Pastrano

$8.95

The searching for one’s sense of self is a journey that never ends; however, significant milestones that shed light on who an individual truly is, are often times marked by age. In XXX (thirty), Xavier Pastrano explores the insights and experiences of his early thirties, observing and analyzing his milestone moments through a candid and, at times, poignant lens.

One key milestone that Pastrano examines in XXX (thirty) is race and identity. As a mixed race individual who grew up with a single, white mother in the Midwest, he noticed a unique dichotomy between how he perceived himself versus how others perceived him. On one day he could pass enough to experience the luxuries of white privilege, but the next day he could be called a racial slur. This “tug-o-war” of racial identity would later fuel the fire for several of the poems in this collection.

Additionally, Pastrano addresses the realities of leaving behind familiarity and traversing into uncharted territories. In “Deconversion,” he talks about the moment in which he lost his faith and became a non-believer, leaving behind the familiarity of his Catholic upbringing and embracing new ideologies. In “Parenthood,” Pastrano addresses the harsh realities that he now faces as a father of a mixed race child. In the end though, the poems showcase the growth that can come from asking those difficult questions and stepping outside of familiarity.

Although Pastrano draws from his own personal experiences for the poems in XXX (thirty), he takes great care in developing poems that readers can relate to on varying levels. Despite the social, racial, and economic differences that have a tendency to divide, Pastrano writes in hopes of finding a balance between staying true to himself and building bridges with his readers.

About the author: Xavier Pastrano currently resides in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with his wife and son, where he teaches high school English and College Composition. When not writing, teaching, or reading, he enjoys listening to various genres of Metal, watching horror films, chilling with his rad wife, and going bananas with his 3-year-old son.

Xavier Pastrano earned his BA in Creative Writing from Southwest Minnesota State University, his Masters of English from the University of North Dakota, and his M.Ed from the University of Sioux Falls. He was the winner of the Evelyn Sundby Himes Award for his manuscript of poetry titled Plumeria and has poems published in the following anthologies: Thunderstorms: "Memory Vs. Evidence"; "Lucila"; "Teach Me"; "Sauced"; "Motormouthed"; "Black, White, Other - Check One"; "Retrograde"; "How Can I be of Service?" and The Scandalous Lives of Butterflies: "The Temple"; and "Provide." He currently teaches high school English and online sections of College Composition. XXX (thirty) is Xavier's first traditionally published collection of poetry.

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