« Return to this article

for people who care about the West

Vital Signs, a book by Juan Delgado and Thomas McGovern


Vital Signs
Juan Delgado and Thomas McGovern,
128 pages, paperback:
Heyday and the Inlandia Institute, 2013.

San Bernardino, Calif., has a reputation for poverty and crime, but poet Juan Delgado and photographer Thomas McGovern offer a vibrant view of the city's working-class Latino neighborhoods in their new book, Vital Signs. The people of this urban landscape are strikingly absent from McGovern's stark images, which showcase hand-painted signs and murals on buildings framed by the empty blue California sky. But Delgado's understated poems, grouped in sections between the images, richly convey the stories of the region's resilient inhabitants.