Boricua Passport

$6.99 $4.99

by J.L. Torres
SEPT. 2014 | ISBN-13: 978-1-940939-20-9 (eBook)
LCCN: 2013954040



SKU: BP052014 Categories: , , Tags: , , , , , Product ID: 5046


BORICUA PASSPORT evokes the complex in-betweeness that represents the contemporary Puerto Rican condition as filtered through the prism of poet J.L. Torres’ life experience. For many Puerto Ricans the sense of being unhomed—having a homeland but not really feeling at home anywhere—is a real lived experience determined by a persisting and unsettled colonial condition. In BORICUA PASSPORT, Torres, screams, shouts, rejoices, celebrates, tickles and challenges with a poetry sprinkled with Spanish/Spanglish that is immediate and urgent. His is a testimony to the indefatigable Puerto Rican spirit which, although burdened by this colonial condition, still strives to cobble a hybrid world full of love, passion and hope. BORICUA PASSPORT will transport any reader into this limbo world with all its fascinating incongruities and descriptive vistas. It’s your passport into a world simultaneously real and imaginary, one most people don’t even know exists. A must read! Cover Design: Vagabond.

Additional information

File Type


Author Bio


J.L. TORRES is Professor of English at SUNY Plattsburgh, where he teaches both American literature, Latina/o Literatures, and Creative Writing. He has published poetry in journals such as the Denver Quarterly, the Americas Review, Crab Orchard Review, Bilingual Review, Connecticut Review, Tulane Review, Puerto del Sol, among others, most of which are in BORICUA PASSPORT. He is the author of The Family Terrorist and Other Stories (Arte Público, 2008), and the novel, The Accidental Native (Arte Público, 2013). Torres also serves as Editor of the Saranac Review; and along with Carmen Haydee Rivera, he is the co-editor of Writing Off the Hyphen: New Perspectives on the Literature of the Puerto Rican Diaspora. or on Facebook.

Press Kit

Download high-resolution photos, book covers, author bios, book information sheets and press releases. Please use photo credits where indicated. Right click on photos and book covers to “save as,” and download PDFs. For more information, contact Gabrielle David at gdavid [AT] 2leafpress [DOT] org

What People Are Saying?

Against Disneyfied caricatures of Boricua mobility, J.L. Torres proposes a mobilization of memory, a mapping of his/our varied turfs: the “asphalt borderlands”of the South Bronx, the “home(is)land” of Puerto Rico, far upstate and its “Carajo counties,” and most of all the unincorporated territories of the soul and body. This is not your abuelita’s poetry, except that it is–tu sabes? In the spirit of Rev. Pedro Pietri, Torres seeks out the “location of this nothingness” where we all scrawl our own passports in in(di)visible ink. Watch /here/ and /there/ blur! This /Boricua Passport/ has your name.

—Urayoán Noel, Poet, Professor and Scholar

If you are a Boricua from the Bronx, you will delight a multi-sensory landscape that takes back a beauty often obscured by the hard times, and denied by those who know the Bronx only as an ugly rumor. You will recognize the sights and aromas; you will know the people. Some poems might make you angry, others will make you recall your own experiences. Those who fear and revile our beautiful and complex Bronx, might want to hop a train after reading this collection.

—Magdalena Gómez Performance Poet, Playwright, Arts Educator, Columnist

JL Torres’ poems draw a line in the sand from the blue green crystal clear agua buenas of Puerto Rico to the blue salsa funk of the Boogie Down. He takes us Salsa dancing through the rhythms of his words, their rich, visceral, viscous texture and specificity to the deep down soulscapes of each image-driven memory of what it means to be a Rican constructing a reality from the belly of that which devours dreams. You don’t need a passport to be transported to the world(s) in the words of Torres’ verse—just your heart and head and an imagination scopic and distended as the universe.

—Tony Medina, Poet and Activist author of Broke Baroque

In Boricua Passport, J.L. Torres guides his reader through a morphing homeland; from paradise to housing projects, from sand-filled island beaches to summer tarred city rooftops. The scape of the land he calls home mutates before your eyes. Torres’ homeland is found in his suffering mother, his place of birth is the person who is his father. His readers experience the transformation of a people. Grief caused by family separation, the horrific life of slavery, the brutal working life in the fields, the alienation of one’s identity, is transformed anew with vitality and pride. In the end, we arrive back home to our abuela and the bata. In the end, the final homeland is the one found in one another for in our mutual dance lies the resurrection of our nation.

—Nancy Mercado, PhD Writer, Editor


There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.