Arte Publico Press, Houston, Texas (2009)
In this affecting collection of poetry and prose, Nuyorican poet Miguel Algarin crafts beautifully angry, sad pieces about injustice and loss. While warning his compatriots about the unreality of the American Dream, he acknowledges that “we are the pistons that / move the roughage through Uncle / Sam’s intestines, we keep the flow / of New York happening / we are its muscles.” Algarin’s poems covering his long career give voice to the disenfranchised—the junkie, the HIV inflicted, the poverty stricken—and survival is a recurring theme. In the essay “Nuyorican Language,” which was originally published in 1975, he argues that for the New York Puerto Rican, there are three survival possibilities: to work hard for little money all your life and remain in eternal debt; to live life by taking risks of all types, including killing, cheating and stealing; and to create alternative behavioral habits. The Nuyorican poet, he says, must create a new language, “A new day needs a new language or else the day becomes a repetition of yesterday.” With an introduction by Ernesto Quiñonez, author of the acclaimed novel Bodega Dreams, this collection takes the reader through an intimate, autobiographical journey of one of the country’s leading Nuyorican writers and intellectuals.
LOVE IS HARD WORK: MEMORIAS DE LOISAIDA
Scribner Poetry, Simon & Schuster Inc., New York (1997)
At once a moving personal memoir and a colorful portrait of life in New York's Lower East Side (Loisaida), this masterly collection of poems captures the whirlwind of sights, sounds, celebrations and sorrows of urban life. In these poetic renderings of the lives and deaths of numerous friends, Algarin the poet celebrates both the well known and the obscure - and brings to life private loves, nurtured in both pain and joy, and public collaborations, born in the turbulent excitement of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. In the centerpiece of the book, the poet offers a searing, unsentimental look at himself and his life. A celebration of the beautiful, the grotesque, the comic and the tragic, these poems resound with honesty, passion and grace - a testament to the extraordinary talent and keen eye of Miguel Algarin.
TIME’S NOW/YA ES TIEMPO
Arte Publico Press, Houston, Texas (1985)
*American Book Award Winner
Miguel Algarin, poet of contemplation and action, presents his first book on the intimate relationships we foment as individuals, nations and children of a silent god. Openly political, blatantly blunt, religiously irreverent, Time's Now/Ya es Tiempo takes us from the most recondite comers of the soul through the streets of New York and to other battle fields -- this time in Central America -- and finally to union with the Godhead.
BODY BEE CALLING FROM THE 21ST CENTURY
Arte Publico Press, Houston, Texas (1982)
Algarin’s book is a psychic-poetic odyssey into the bionic 21st century. These poems sin, like those of his master, in their breadth, indomitableness, irrepressiveness. But all that is in this book of poems is not Walt Whitman. There’s something of Edgar Allan Poe also. And Algarin, from within his “aleph” of the Lower East Side, encompasses the world in its spatial - Rome, Houston, New York - and temporal dimensions - the past, today and an imagined twenty-first century. But that whole cosmos is seen from the “aleph” that is his body.
Arte Publico Press, Houston, Texas (1980)
*American Book Award Winner
A book of poems on the cutting edge of cultural innovation. On Call is the model of Algarin's esthetics; it transcends the search for identity, roots, heritage. On Call reaches down into the recesses of our calloused sensitivity, awakens us and, in so doing, makes us part of the poetic process.
The East Village Press/Nuyorican Press, New York (1978)
A popular early work by a founding Nuyorican poet, Mongo Affair is the experience of our chemical-electrical, physical breakdown and the love and hate for the tar and concrete jungle of Manhattan.
ACTION: THE NUYORICAN POETS CAFE THEATER FESTIVAL
with Lois Elaine Griffith
Touchtone, Simon & Schuster Inc., New York (1997)
For nearly twenty-five years, poets, writers, artists, actors, directors, and an ever-growing audience have flocked to New York's landmark Nuyorican Poets Cafe, a breeding ground and showcase for some of the most original and energetic new works of theater being produced today, as well as a community gathering place. Now, for the first time, twenty original plays, monologues, and performance pieces that debuted at the Nuyorican are gathered together in this book. Featuring the works of such well-known writers as Miguel Piñero, Ishmael Reed, Amiri Baraka, and Ntozake Shange, as well as emerging names such as Frank Perez, Eugene Rodriguez, Gloria Feliciano, and Janice Astor del Valle, this anthology brings together a dazzling and potent chorus of talented voices. Action gives readers a front-row seat for some of the best theater in America and celebrates diversity in the dramatic arts.
ALOUD: VOICES FROM THE NUYORICAN POETS CAFE
with Bob Holman
Owl Books, Henry Holt & Co., New York (1994)
*American Book Award Winner
As the "New York Observer" writes: "The poetry corpse is stirring," it's beating heart is "a big, dark, brick-walled loft on Third Street and Avenue C called the Nuyorican Poets Cafe". Welcome to the inside of the explosion! Everyone is in here – from founding poets Miguel Piñero, Pedro Pietri and Piri Thomas to Reg E Gaines, Edwin Torres, Paul Beatty, Hal Sirowitz, Carl Hancock Rux, Maggie Estep, Patricia Smith etc. etc. The classic underground poetry anthology.
NUYORICAN POETRY: AN ANTHOLOGY OF PUERTO RICAN WORDS AND FEELINGS
with Miguel Piñero
William Morrow & Co., New York (1975)
The publication of this collection of poetry marked an important literary and cultural event. It was the first attempt to collect the poetic work of emerging New York Puerto Rican writers, who define themselves as Nuyorican. The anthology was edited by two of the writers who have played a leading role in fostering and supporting literary activity by this generation. Algarín intended his introduction to the book as a Nuyorican poetic manifesto postulating the emergence of a new poetry with its own poetic and ideological principles. Algarín is the founder and proprietor of the Nuyorican Poets' Cafe in New York City.
BEFORE COLUMBUS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AMERICAN BOOK AWARD (2009)
AMERICAN BOOK AWARD Winners
*ALOUD: VOICES FROM THE NUYORICAN POETS CAFE (1994)
*TIME'S NOW/YA ES TIEMPO (1986)
*ON CALL (1980)
*THE LARRY LEON HAMLIN PRODUCER’S AWARD (2001) at the National Black Theater Festival
*BESSIE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENT
*OBIE GRANT FOR EXCELLENCE IN THEATER
*AUDELCO AWARDS FOR DRAMATIC PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR - three consecutive years
TIME’S NOW/YA ES TIEMPO/TOKI WA IMA
translated by Akira Nogami (1992)
Akira Nogami added a third translation, Japanese, and re-released the American Book Award-winning book. Nogami, a former instructor at Nishogakusha University, asks the reader to “read the book aloud. English, Spanish or Japanese, whichever language you may use, please vocalize and recite. Raise your voice decisively.”
SONG OF PROTEST
translated with an introduction by Miguel Algarin
William Morrow & Co., New York (1976)
SONG OF PROTEST is 43 political poems by the great Chilean writer, a translation of his controversial book, CANCION DE GESTA, first published in Spanish in 1960. The poems concern a number of countries, among them Cuba, Chile, Venezuela, Bolivia and Guatemala. It is said that the book was banned in the U.S. as an attempt to strip Neruda of any political content, and, today, only his love poems are widely available.
Pablo Neruda was born Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto on July 12, 1904, in Parral, Chile. With an international reputation, Pablo Neruda was also committed to politics and social reform. Often referred to as the "poet of enslaved humanity," he was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1953 and the Nobel Prize for literature in 1971. He died in Santiago, Chile on Sept. 23, 1973.
THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS
“Neruda—diplomat, Chilean senator, and candidate for the Chilean presidency in 1970—became famous in the early decades of this century for dark and despairing poems, often with exotic surrealist settings, lamenting the decay of civilization and human love. His sense of estrangement, however, was broken at the time of the Spanish Civil War when he turned communist, spoke for the dispossessed, and saw worldly misery more and more in political terms. Song of Protest, his last installment in this vein—he died in 1973, just after Allende fell—castigates the capitalist exploitation of Latin America, attends ‘to the pain / of those who suffer: they are my pains,’ celebrates ‘the blood of dead peasants’ and the revolutionaries in the Sierra Maestra.”