First, some logistical points:
This week, we move on to two significant poets and kay people in defining the Nuyorican movement: Pedro Pietri and Miguel Piñero.
For Monday, Read the interview with Pedro Pietri and the section from Puerto Rican Obituary, both posted on the Readings page. Read the interview first, then read the poems. Focus on the following poems: “Puerto Rican Obituary”, “The Broken English Dream”, “Suicide Note from a Cockroach”, and “Love Poem for My People”. Note: “Puerto Rican Obituary” is both the title of his most well-known poem and the title of the book it’s from.
Watch Pietri read “Puerto Rican Obituary” here
… and here:
For Wednesday, we move on to Miguel Piñero and read selections from his classic work La Bodega Sold Dreams, again, both the title of the book and title of one of his most famous poems. Here, focus on the following: “La Bodega Sold Dreams”, “A Lower East Side Poem”, “The Book of Genesis According to San Miguelito”, “This is Not the Place Where I Was Born”, “Black Woman With the Blond Wig On”, “Kill, Kill, Kill”, “Running Scared”, “Seeking the Cause”, and “New York City Hard Times Blues”.
Watch Piñero read “Seeking the Cause”
Questions to think about are how each writer uses language in their work, including both the use of Spanglish and how they write in English. What subjects do they write about and how does that reflect a particular urban experience? How do they use humor in their writing? How do the pictures in Piñero’s book complement his writing? What portrait of the city do they paint?