In Tato Laviera’s third collection, poems celebrate the array of stripes and colors making up the American people. In the beginning section, “Ethnic Tributes,” Laviera crafts poems with titles like, “arab,” “black,” “chinese,” “greek,” “jamaican,” “spanish,” and “mundo-world.” In “boricua,” he fashions a timely plea for an end to prejudice, saying that for Puerto Ricans “. . . color is generally color-blind/with us, that’s our contribution, all/ the colors are tied/to our one.”
The latter two sections of the collection, “Values” and “Politics” build on the themes of ethnic exchange and the place of the boriqueño in that greater scheme. In “commonwealth,” Laviera writes of these tensions. “I’m still in the commonwealth/ stage of my life, not knowing/ which ideology to select.”
|Publisher:||Arte Publico Press|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||2 MB|
About the Author
JESUS “TATO” LAVIERA (1950-2013) was a poet, playwright, novelist and community advocate. Born in Puerto Rico, he was raised in the Manhattan’s Lower East Side, or Loisaida. He is generally acknowledged to be the best selling Hispanic poet in the United States. He performed his works all over the U.S., the Caribbean, Europe and Africa. His books include La Carreta Made a U-Turn; Enclave, winner of the American Book Award; AmeRícan; Mainstream Ethics; Mixturao and Other Poems, and Bendición: The Complete Poetry of Tato Laviera, all published by Arte Público Press. His plays have been produced in Chicago and New York City, and have been staged at The New Federal Theater, The Public Theater, the Delcourt Theatre in Central Park, Circle in the Square, and Theatro Cuatro.