Recinos' love for poetry dates back to being abandoned by Latino parents at age twelve to live on New York City streets. When he turned sixteen, he was taken into the family of a white Presbyterian minister and guided back to school. After finishing high school, Recinos attended undergraduate school in Ohio and graduate school in New York, where he befriended the Nuyorican poets Miguel Pinero and Pedro Pietri, who encouraged him to write and read poetry at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Stony the Road engages life outside of mainstream American society and picks its way through places of despair and marginality to the revelations of belonging that protest indifference and inequality. The collection raises questions and proposes responses to the crisis of understanding in economic and political life, as well as the cultural narrative that America welcomes strangers. The poems tap into the changing mood of American life and the obscured world of rejected human beings and communities by exploring lives worth telling.