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Showing posts with the label writer

El Gran Antillano: Remembering Louis Reyes Rivera

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Commentary By Shaggy Flores I’ve had the honor of knowing the literary genius, Louis Reyes Rivera , as my friend, hermano , mentor, editor, teacher, and fellow Nuyorican Poet. To say that other young writers and I were heavily influenced by his work would be an understatement.  Louis was what many of us aspire to become as artists, human beings, and cultural workers. He was a committed African Diaspora scholar who was not only a master of his craft, but someone who firmly believed that the artist and writer should also serve as a servant of the people. He believed that we must all do our part to uplift humanity by addressing social and economic conditions through the arts. I met Louis Reyes Rivera years ago at the North East Latino Student Conference in UMass Amherst in Massachusetts. I was one of the main folks to push the most for his attendance as a main speaker. I finally got to meet Louis in person at the Campus Center Café a few hours before he w

Julia de Burgos stamp dismissed?

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Commentary By Steven Maginnis There are few people more deserving of commemoration on a United States postage stamp than Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos.  De Burgos, who lived from 1914 to 1953, grew up in poverty in Puerto Rico but managed to go to college through a scholarship and become a teacher - effectively pulling herself up by her own bootstraps.  Later, through involvement with the Puerto Rican Nationalist party, she became a full-time writer and wrote about her love of Puerto Rico, the social struggles of the poor and oppressed, and her own feelings of entrapment and confinement. "Writing in the 1930s through the 1950s," one reviewer for  Publishers Weekly,  commented, "de Burgos was ahead of her time in grasping connections between history, the body, politics, love, self-negation and feminism that would later prove to be the foundations for writers like [Adrienne] Rich and [Sylvia] Plath."      In September 2010, Julia de Burgos - who died

Virtual Boricua Marina Ortiz chats with PRSUN Radio

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My guest tomorrow on PRSUN Radio is writer, artist and community activist Marina Ortiz. Ortiz is the woman behind Virtual Boricua, a site dedicated to boricua culture, and East Harlem Preservation, a site dedicated to East Harlem community issues. To learn more about Ortiz, check out my blog at www.blogtalkradio.com/prsunradio . The interview is at 5 p.m. tomorrow. UPDATE: To listen to my interview with Marina,

'Shadow of the Fathers'

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The Reading Corner Join Journalist Robert Friedman this Sunday for a reading and discussion of his novel "Shadow of the Fathers" at a bookstore in NYC's Lower East Side. Friedman's novel is set in Puerto Rico and is based on a true story that happened in PR. Friedman lived in Puerto Rico for over 20 years, and has been reporting on Puerto Rico for the San Juan Star for over two decades. Here is a blurb about the book: In the 1930s an American doctor sent by the Rockefeller Institute to do research in Puerto Rico wrote a letter claiming he had purposely killed eight of his patients. Dr. Cornelius Rhoads said he was doing his part to exterminate the island's 'degenerate' population. He later said the letter was just 'a joke,' but doubts remain. San Juan Star Washington correspondent Robert Friedman uses this factual incident as an inspiration for his fictional account of the aftermath of the event. "Shadow of the Fathers," a suspe