Monday, March 20, 2006

Community Calendar

A Cultural Extravanganza Honoring the Unique Genius
of Poet and Playwright El Reverendo Pedro Pietri
When: Saturday, April 1st, 2006, 12 Noon – 8:00 PM
Where: The Nuyorican Poets Café, 236 East 3rd Street (between Avenues B & C)
Info: Carmen Pietri-Diaz 212-780-9386 •

The late poet/playwright “El Reverendo” Pedro Pietri will be honored on Saturday, April 1st, 2006 by the New York City Arts community in a day-long Extravaganza of Poetry, Music & Performance. Reverend Pietri – who was more a dark genius poet than an actual holy man — wrote the ground-breaking “Puerto Rican Obituary,” a book-length poem evoking the harsh realities that Puerto Rican immigrants confronted in the US.

In a collaborative effort spearheaded by FEVA (Federation of East Village Artists), former councilwoman Margarita López, The Nuyorican Poets Café, and the merchants, residents and artists of East Third Street, the City of New York will officially rename the block of 3rd Street between Avenues B & C “Rev. Pedro Pietri Way.”

To commemorate this event, a street sign honoring Rev. Pedro Pietri will be posted during a day-long Block Celebration in front of the Nuyorican Poets Café, the legendary arts institution Rev. Pietri helped to establish. The celebration will include performances and presentations outside and inside of the café.

The First Annual Pedro Pietri Hand Awards will be presented to distinguished poets, playwrights, musicians, reporters and community activists. The award takes the form of a black-gloved hand, in honor of Pietri’s trademark accessory. It was designed by artist Adál Maldonado, who collaborated with Pietri on many projects, including the founding of the legendary outpost of bombast, El Puerto Rican Embassy, where “the most interesting minds of our great multicolorful generation congregate as heads of state to keep our aesthetic sancocho warm enough to escort our eternal tropical contemporary urban lifestyle through the 21st Century.”

And in a surrealistic act worthy of the Nuyorican-Dadaist poet/playwright, El Puerto Rican Embassy and the Nuyorican Poets Café will canonize Rev. Pedro as the first Saint of The Church of Our Mother of Tomatoes. On this historic day, Rev. Pedro will become San Pedro Poeta: Patron Saint of Poets & Lost Typewriters, and Spanglish Metaphor Consultant in the Hereafter. Fellow poets and artists will testify to the poetic miracles of Rev. Pietri through marathon readings and performances.

Rev. Pietri was one of the most original poets of the 20th century, and it is fitting that equally legendary performers will be there to honor him: Salsa legends Willie Colón and Dave Valentín, co-founder of the Nuyorican Poets Café Miguel Algarín, poets Amiri Baraka, Sandra Maria Esteves, Jesús Papoleto Meléndez, Mariposa, and The Welfare Poets. Also appearing, DJ extraordinaire Little Louie Vega, Daily News columnist Juan González, among others; hosted by political activist Dylcia Pagan and Obie award winning director/writer Frank Perez.

A series of videos of Pietri performing some of his classics pieces, such as The Spanglish National Anthem, Unseen Faces, Help Me I Can See and The Puerto Rican Obituary will premiere at the Café.

Guests and participants are encouraged to wear Black Attire in honor of Rev. Pedro Pietri’s dark style.
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