Meléndez is set to publish a bilingual omnibus of his first three volumes of poetry, Casting Long Shadows (1970), Have You Seen Liberation (1971), and Street Poetry & Other Poems (1972), that are as relevant today as when they were first published. “Although I haven’t published a volume of poetry since 1993 (Concertos On Market Street), I’ve always been working on new poetry and stories,” says Meléndez, “publishing in journals, and participating in readings. But before I begin publishing some of these new collections, I felt, especially at this point in my life, it was important to revisit the past.” The publication of this bilingual omnibus, which will also include some new works, also celebrates the 40th anniversary of Street Poetry & Other Poems.
“I’ve known Papo for many years and he has been a key supporter of phati’tude Literary Magazine since its inception. Papo is remarkable for many reasons, one of which is that his poetry is timeless. We’ve talked about doing this project on and off for the past ten years, so it’s fitting that he is the first poet signed with 2Leaf Press,” said Gabrielle David, executive director of the Intercultural Alliance of Artists & Scholars, Inc., and publisher of the 2Leaf imprint. “We’re very proud to have him the first on our roster, hopefully for years to come.”
With the publication of his poem, “Message To Urban Sightseers” in Talkin’ About Us (NY, 1969), his poetry collections, and his play, “The Junkies Stole The Clock” (first produced by the New York Shakespeare Festival Public Theatre’s Nuyorican Playwright’s Unit in April, 1974), firmly established Meléndez as a poet, playwright, and one of the founders of the Nuyorican movement. Meléndez has worked as a poetry facilitator in public schools in New York and California for over 30 years, during which time he has coordinated many successful “Poetry/Creative Writing” workshops that have affected the lives of thousands of young people. He has performed at hundreds of poetry readings, appeared in film, television, and radio; his work has appeared in numerous magazines, journals, anthologies; and his work has been taught in schools across the country. For more information on Meléndez, check out his interview on the phati’tude website and his radio interview. You can also find out more information about Meléndez at his website, www.papoleto.com