The Authors (Old)
Jesús Papoleto Meléndez
Hey Yo! Yo Soy! 40 Years of Nuyorican Street Poetry, A Bilingual Edition
NUYORICAN WORLD SERIES
Affectionately known as “Papo,” he published his first poem, “Message To Urban Sightseers” in Talkin’ About Us (1969). The publication of his earliest volumes of poetry, Casting Long Shadows (1970), Have You Seen Liberation (1971), and Street Poetry & Other Poems (1972), firmly established Meléndez as a prominent poet in the Nuyorican community.
In 1974, Meléndez’s play, “The Junkies Stole The Clock,” was the first Latino play produced by the New York Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theatre’s Nuyorican Playwright’s Unit. Beginning in the 1970s, he began his 30-year career as a poet-facilitator in the public schools, working at workshop programs in California and New York. In 1993, he published the poetry collection, Concertos On Market Street, merging his Nuyorican melodies with a Southern California sensibility.
Over the years, Meléndez has performed his poetry with musical groups in California, Tijuana, México and New York, and has opened for such artists as Tito Puente, Urban Bush Women and the Art Ensemble of Chicago. His works have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, and is often cited in textbooks. He is the recipient of numerous awards, most recently the Union Settlement Association “Innovation Award” (2011). Meléndez, now an elder statesman of the Nuyorican poetry scene, has become a mentor for emerging poets and writers that follow in the Nuyorican tradition.
Shirley Bradley LeFlore
Brassbones & Rainbows
An original member of the renowned Black Artist Group (BAG) of St. Louis, LeFlore has performed her poetry nationally and internationally. She is one of few poets with a vast background in collaborative/staged poetry with musicians, dancers, and visual artists. She has blended the vocal texture of her poetry with the music giants of jazz, blues, gospel/spirituals and classical music, including The World Jazz Saxophone Quartet and woodwind virtuoso J.D. Parran. She has also worked with the New York City-based music group Spirit Stage, created the duo Word and Wind, and collaborated on Hammiet Bluiet’s BBQ Band recordings.
LeFlore’s poetry and writings have appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including Spirit & Flame, Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry (1997), ALOUD: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Café (1995), Black American Literature Forum: Henry Dumas, Vol. 22, No. 2 (1988), Turn in the River: Celebrate Issue for Gwendolyn Brooks (1988), and SHEBA REVIEW: Anthology of Missouri Women Writers (1987). LeFlore has served on the editorial board of RIVER STYX: Literary & Arts Magazine (1975-1988). She was a producer of phatLiterature, a multi-ethnic/cultural arts literary series for The IAAS, where she presented the works of literary/poetry legends Gwendolyn Brooks and Margaret Walker. She was featured prominently in the critically acclaimed 2009 Random House/Broadway Books novel, Wildflowers, written by her daughter and national bestselling author, Lyah Beth LeFlore, who is producing her play, Rivers of Women, at the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis. Brassbones and Rainbows is her first collection of poetry.
Tony Medina is a poet, professor and activist. A two-time winner of the Paterson Prize, he is the author of sixteen books for adults and young readers, including The President Looks Like Me & Other Poems (Just Us Books, 2013), I and I, Bob Marley (Lee & Low Books, 2009), My Old Man Was Always on the Lam (Nightshade Press, 2010), Broke on Ice (Willow Books 2011), the second book in the Broke series, An Onion of Wars (Third World Press, 2011), DeShawn Days (Lee & Low Books, 2001), Love to Langston (Lee & Low Books, 2002), Committed to Breathing (Third World Press, 2003), and Follow-up Letters to Santa from Kids Who Never Got a Response (Just Us Books, 2003).
Medina has been featured in the documentaries Nuyorc 1999, A Weigh with Words: An Inside Look At How Words Create Conflict or Compassion; and Furious Flower II: Regenerating the Black Poetic Tradition: Roots & First Fruits/Cross-Pollination in the Diaspora/Blooming in the Whirlwind. His poetry, fiction, and essays appear in over ninety publications and two CD compilations.
An advisory editor for Hip Hop Speaks to Children, edited by Nikki Giovanni, his most recent work is featured in the anthologies Poets Against the Killing Field, Family Pictures: Poems and Photographs Celebrating Our Loved Ones, Fingernails Across a Chalkboard: A Literary and Artistic View of HIV/AIDS Affecting People of Color; Full Moon on K Street, Let Loose on the World: Celebrating Amiri Baraka at 75, and Spaces Between Us: Poetry, Prose and Art on HIV/AIDS (Third World Press, 2010). Medina has taught English at Long Island University’s Brooklyn campus and Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY, and has earned an MA and PhD in English from Binghamton University, SUNY. He is the first Professor of Creative Writing at Howard University.
Last of The Po’ Ricans y Otros Afro-artifacts
NUYORICAN WORLD SERIES
(not4)Prophet was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and raised in East Harlem and the South Bronx in New York City. He is a community activist, underground-Hip Hop MC, street-soul-slinger or singer of sorts, graffiti writer/vandal, off-peak-hours actor and last but never least, a poor (mans) poet and/or barrio bard.
When (not4)Prophet read Piri Thomas’ Down These Mean Streets at ten years old, he was encouraged and inspired to read other old school writers from the Nuyorican Poets Movement. In time, he began scratching out his own “puerto-poems” on napkins, toilet paper, and whatever else was handy and wasn’t a wall or anyone’s particular private property.
(not4)Prophet has released several indie music cds, two self-published poetry chapbooks, and his work has been featured in a few books and magazines as well. He currently teaches “resistance writing” to those identified as homeless folks at the Homeless Organizing Academy located in the South Bronx section of New York City.
Guided by Love: A Tribute to Dylcia Pagan, Former Puerto Rican Prisoner
edited by Dylcia Pagán and Lisa Sánchez González
NUYORICAN WORLD SERIES
Dylcia Pagán is a producer, director, writer, poet, social and political activist, teacher, visual artist, healer and former political prisoner. Born in the Bronx and raised in El Barrio-East Harlem in New York City, she is also one of the first Latina television producers in the United States. Pagán ’s foray in the entertainment field began when she became a child star and appeared on The Horn & Hardardt Children’s Hour with Ed Herlihy on NBC, which showcased many up and coming performers like Leslie Uggams and Bernadette Peters.
Pagán attended Hunter College and transferred to Brooklyn College, majoring in political science, physiology and Puerto Rican studies. At Brooklyn College, Pagán was one of the founders of the Puerto Rican Student Union, which resulted in the formulation of a student-control led Puerto Rican Studies Department, and helped negotiate the founding of the Department of Black Studies, still in existence today. She worked for several city agencies and community programs, ran for public office, and ran as a delegate to the Democratic Convention on Shirley Chisholm’s ticket during her presidential candidacy.
As a producer, writer and director, Pagán would become instrumental in groundbreaking Latino and African American programming by participating in investigative documentaries and children’s programs at ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS. She began her career working as a production assistant for the ABC-TV Children’s Afternoon Special, “Santiago’s Ark” (1970); host and producer of the public access program, La Voz De La Communidad (Manhattan Cable TV; 1971); and Assistant to the Executive Producer in Like it Is (ABC; 1971). In 1972, she became Associate Producer of PBS’ Realidades, the first Latino television series of its kind, where she would produce and direct a number of episodes. She also served as Associate Producer for Infinity Factory (PBS; 1974-1977) a mathematics series for the Education Development Corp., Newton, MA; and The People (WCBS; 1977-78), a weekly public affairs program. Pagán also served as the English editor and columnist for El Tiempo, the first bilingual daily newspaper in New York City; as freelance writer for Nuestro Magazine;as a columnist for Canales de Television; and Woman’s editor for Latin NY Magazine.
In 1980, Pagán was arrested and charged with Seditious Conspiracy for fighting for the Independence of Puerto Rico and sentenced to 63 years of imprisonment in state and federal facilities throughout the United States. During her incarceration she quickly realized that while prison itself is destructive, that she herself should remain constructive. Pagán created her own paintings and ceramics, and wrote poetry, prose and short stories. She also managed to participate in three documentaries: The Pleasanton Five about the five Puerto Rican political prisoners (including herself) housed in the Federal facility of Pleasanton, CA.; Woman’s Voices a documentary about several woman whom participated in a therapeutic voice holistic program at the prison; and the award-winning documentary, The Double Life of Ernesto Gomez Gomez. In 1999, President Clinton offered executive clemency to 13 of the Puerto Rican political prisoners, and Pagán was released from prison. Shortly after her release, Pagán relocated to Puerto Rico.
Pagán is a national speaker who addresses audiencesat colleges and universities, and national organizations in Puerto Rico and throughout the United States about their social responsibilities and the importance of activism. She has received numerous awards, including Latina Woman of the Year (2002) and The Bread is Rising People’s Poetry Award (2006). She was also honored by the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!) at its BAAD! ASS Women’s Festival (2005). Pagán continues to work on documentaries, promotional campaigns and special events. www.dylciapagan.com
Lisa Sánchez González
Puerto Rican Folktales/ Cuentos folclóricos puertorriqueños
NUYORICAN WORLD SERIES
Lisa Sánchez González is a professor and scholar. She studied Classics and Comparative Literature at UCLA, where she studied many languages (both dead and alive) and received her PhD in 1995. Her essays have appeared in a myriad of scholarly journals and anthologies, including American Literary History, Cultural Studies, Latino Studies, Technofuturos: Critical Interventions in Latina/o Studies (2007), Reading U.S. Latina Literature (2003), and African Roots/American Cultures (2001). She also has over a decade of production credits in news and public affairs for a wide range of community-based radio stations in the United States. Among other awards and nominations, in 2000 she was honored with an international appointment as a Fulbright Scholar in American Studies.
Sánchez is the author of Boricua Literature: A Literary History of the Puerto Rican Diaspora (NYU Press, 2001) and The Stories I Read to the Children: The Life and Writing of Pura Belpré (Centro Press, 2013). Her bilingual collection of “decolonial” short stories, Puerto Rican Folktales/Cuentos folclóricos puertorriqueños, is a much anticipated first collection of fiction. She has taught at universities in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Brazil. An Associate Professor of English at the University of Connecticut, Sánchez currently teaches courses in American, Caribbean, and western literary history.
Legends and Other Tales by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
Translated from: Spanish to English
Adam Wier is the series editor for 2LP Translations. He graduated as valedictorian of the Winter 2012 class of Hunter College, where he majored in Spanish-English Translation and Interpretation and Interdisciplinary Honors Studies. He is also a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy’s theatre and film program, which he first attended when he arrived in New York City in the summer of 2004. After graduating from the academy, he founded Haberdasher Theatre along with some of his fellow graduates and served as the company’s managing director, occasional production stage manager, acting company member, and playwright. He also translated Chema Rodriguez’s play Nubes Frente A Un Espejo (Clouds in Front of a Mirror), which was produced by the company. Adam works as a freelance translator for a number of organizations and institutions, including the Diocese of Brooklyn. He recently served as the senior translator for the Latino edition of phati’tude literary Magazine and rendered the subtitles for two Parandroid Films, La Mirada de Las Fotos (Staring Pictures) and Lo Que Quiero De Ti (What I Want From You).
Sam Diaz Carron
Our Nuyorican Thing
NUYORICAN WORLD SERIES
Samuel Diaz Carron is a Puerto Rican poet and writer born in the South Bronx. While working as a chemist, he participated in meetings that led to he founding of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, New Rican Village and other venues. Over the years, he has coordinated poetry and reading series, and managed theatrical events for Pedro Pietri and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.
Diaz also served as a coordinator for the Puerto Rican-based Bienal de la Poesía Puertoriqueña and subsequent events for La Muestra de la Bienal. He currently heads Computer and Administrative Office Services (BxCAOS), which assisting small businesses and nonprofits in the arts and housing.
Stephanie Agosto Negron
NUYORICAN WORLD SERIES
Stephanie Agosto, a Spoken Word artist of the Nuyorican literary movement, belongs to a new generation of activist poets that began their activities in New York in the 1990’s. As a child of the Hip-Hop generation, Agosto’s foundation is in all things with a beat, crisscrossing between poetry on the page and on the stage.
Her poetry has been published in anthologies, art books and periodicals. Agosto studied at Queensborough Community College, Hunter College and the Film & Video Arts in New York City. She produced and hosted the weekly poetry series, Universal Beats, on Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN), and also produced a 12-week poetry series at Alexis Café in New York City. She appeared on phatLiterature, a Literary TV Program aired on QPTV and co-wrote wrote its theme song with Michael Bynum.
As an activist, she worked for Dr. Louis E. Parrish, who created a facility for ancillary therapies for patients with chronic illness, which became one of the first prominent HIV/AIDS practice in New York City. She has donated her time to several organizations, including Gathering of the Tribes, Wordquestra (Poets Choral), Shawangunk Correctional Facility and now, to a women’s health clinic in Florida. She has performed at numerous venues, including: Nuyorican Poets Café, The Julia de Burgos Cultural Center, Boricua College, Gathering of the Tribes, The Aaron Davis Hall, Sista’s Place, and The Center for Imaginative Writing at New Paltz University.
Omar Villegas is an accomplished filmmaker and video professional with a diversity of experience that has established him as a standout in the industry. He is also a director, film producer, writer, poet and photographer.
Born and raised in Park Slope, Brooklyn by parents of Guatemalan descent, for as long as he could remember, Villegas always wanted to work in films. After graduating from the High School of Art and Design, he studied film at the School of Visual Arts, The New School and HB Studios.
Villegas honed his filmmaking skills working as a videographer/DP, editor and director on a variety of broadcast, non-broadcast and web-based projects on music videos, short films, documentaries, educational videos and promotional pieces for corporate clients such as Saatchi, Best Buy, Sony, and Nike Soho.
During the late 1990s, Villegas wrote and directed his first film, an untitled short that explores a painter dealing addiction and celebrity who is facing life and death issues. He has directed music videos for the XVandals, Ricanstruction and is currently finishing up on Funkamentalz’ music video, “doing the digits.” He produced and directed “Little Virtuosso” a childrens’ music DVD; the QVC promo for “On The Go Purse”; spec spots for Gatorade cool down/kickboxing and Coca Cola Shop lifter/musicians.
He has made recent forays into poetry and photography, having published his poetry in an anthology and several literary magazines. The impetus behind his forthcoming coffee table book, Throne Out, was a happy accident. As Villegas began noticing chairs thrown out in the street, he saw them as portraits and began photographing them. In time, he collected over 500 photographs and wondered what it would be like to publish the photos with poets and writers providing an ekphrastic approach to the work, thus the birth of Throne Out, which will be published, Spring 2014.