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  • ICAA Record ID
    842571
    AUTHOR
    Algarín, Miguel
    TITLE
    Nuyorican Aesthetics / Miguel Algarín
    IN
    Images and identities: the Puerto Rican in two world contexts. -- New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1987.  
    DESCRIPTION
    p. 161 - 163
    LANGUAGES
    English
    TYPE AND GENRE
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION
    Algarín, Miguel. “Nuyorican Aesthetics.” In Images and identities: the Puerto Rican in two world contexts, 161-163. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1987.
    GEOGRAPHIC DESCRIPTORS
Synopsis

Poet Miguel Algarin maintains that rather than a sign of ignorance the mixing of Spanish and English words by Puerto Ricans in New York expresses linguistic creativity. He argues that Puerto Ricans in New York are forging a new language and culture based on their bilingual and bi-national experience, which Algarin calls “Nuyorican.” He underscores that an essential component of the Nuyorican aesthetic is the creation and safeguarding of spaces in New York City where individuals can express themselves through poetry and art.

Annotations

The word “Nuyorican” is generally accepted today as a descriptor of New York-born Puerto Ricans. However, in the 1950s and 1960s the term “Nuyorican” had a pejorative connotation, because it was applied to the mass of undereducated Puerto Ricans who lived in the slums of New York.

In 1973, poets Miguel Algarin and Miguel Piñero described the bilingual poetry they (and their colleagues) were developing as “Nuyorican,” thus elevating and inserting the term into the canon of American literary movements. That same year, Miguel Algarin—together with poets Miguel Piñero, Pedro Pietri, Papoleto Mendez, and Sandra Maria Estevez—further institutionalized the term “Nuyorican” by founding the Nuyorican Poets Cafe on the Lower East Side of the city. Still in existence, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe is recognized as the incubator of innovative genres, such as “poetry slams,” “performance poetry,” and “spoken word.” Algarin’s essays on Nuyorican poetry and art have consistently supported the view that an important part of the work of Puerto Rican artists in The Big Apple is to create community-based workspaces that will enable future generations to develop expressive forms independent of the American commercial mainstream.

 

Researcher
Yasmin Ramirez
Credit
Miguel Algarin © Transaction Publishers, Inc., Piscataway, NJ