Ricardo Ruiz

Ricardo Ruiz (We Had Our Reasons)

October 1, 2022

We Had Our Reasons Cover“I am a warrior, so that my son may be a merchant, so that his son may be a poet.” A quote attributed to John Quincy Adams, though it is quite possible that is a paraphrase. To go from being a gang-banger in Othello, Washington, to a bigger gang called the U.S. Army, almost dying three times in the theater of war, to find himself as a poet, interviewing undocumented people and telling their stories in lyric verse in Spanish and English. This is the story of Ricardo Ruiz and it’s told in his debut book: We Had Our Reasons or Teníamos Nuestras Razones in his lengua materna.




  1. Diana Elser

    Outstanding interview – I enjoyed this storybook, this book of poems – and will re-read it after hearing this interview. I admire Ricardo’s heartfelt boldness, his refusal to stay in anger, his willingness to keep prodding all of us to be more open, less judgemental, more thoughtful – to open our eyes to what the government does in our name.

  2. Denny Stern

    Well said Diana. I want to get this book. I’m going to read it first & give it to my sister, who is a Court translator in Idaho & has lots of stories. I was very moved by Ricardo’s project & humanity.

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