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The poet's life and her place in
Puerto Rican culture
While it is rare for a poet to become a cultural icon, Julia de Burgos has evoked feelings of bonding and identification in Puerto Ricans and Latinos in the United States for over half a century.
In the first book-length study written in English, Vanessa Pérez Rosario examines poet and political activist Julia de Burgos's development as a writer, her experience of migration, and her legacy in New York City. Pérez Rosario situates de Burgos as part of a transitional generation that helps to bridge the historical divide between Puerto Rican nationalist writers of the 1930s and the Nuyorican writers of the 1970s. Focusing on the poet's contributions to New York Latino/a literary and visual culture, she moves beyond the tragedy-centered narratives of de Burgos's life to examine her place within a nuanced historical understanding of Puerto Rico's peoples and culture. Pérez Rosario unravels the cultural and political dynamics at work when contemporary Latina/o writers and artists in New York revise, reinvent, and riff off of Julia de Burgos as they imagine new possibilities for themselves and their communities.
"In this magisterial study Pérez Rosario brings to blazing life one of the most courageous and important Puerto Rican diasporic artists of the 20th century. An indispensable book that presents Julia de Burgos in her extraordinary plenitude."
"On Pérez Rosario's brilliant reconstruction, Julia de Burgos recovers the thrill and the sting of her own legacy. She also glows with the flashes of brilliance her work ignited in Latin American artists who found her, and themselves through her, in the de-territorialized nowhere or utopia of New York. From that same fraught city, where heritage identities and trajectories become burdens akin to the Holy Grail, this book brings a major poet and activist into focus as incitement to read more and to write bravely."
"Becoming Julia de Burgos is a smart and original study of this important poet and cultural figure. Vanessa Pérez Rosario is an astute and insightful reader of Burgos' poetry, letters and journalism. Pérez Rosario is also a talented cultural historian: in addition to readings that yield political and aesthetic dimensions of Burgos' writing, Pérez Rosario also contextualizes Burgos' life transnationally, placing her at the center of debates among Puerto Rican intellectuals about gender, colonialism and cultural identity. An important study from an exciting and talented new critical voice."
"In this beautifully written and thoroughly researched study, one of the most important artistic and literary icons of the Nuyorican and Latino diaspora finally gets her due. Vanessa Pérez Rosario gives us the most current and definitive resource to understand not only Julia de Burgos' extensive body of work, but also the expansive cultural movement that continues to find inspiration in her legacy."
"Becoming Julia de Burgos makes a truly significant contribution to multiple fields as it demonstrates that commitment and attention to local histories and locations, set into larger contexts, which marks the best work in Puerto Rican and Caribbean Studies."
is a collection of thirteen chapters that explores the literary tradition of Caribbean Latino literature written in the United States beginning with José Martí and concluding with 2008 Pulitzer prize winning novelist Junot Díaz. The essays in this collection reveal the multiple ways that writers of this tradition use their unique positioning as both insiders and outsiders to critique U.S. hegemonic discourses while simultaneously interrogating national discourses in their home countries. The chapters consider the way that spatial migration in literature serves as a metaphor for gender, sexual, racial, identity, linguistic, and national migrations.
"Pérez Rosario offers an extremely valuable collection of essays
about the experience of migration in Hispanic Caribbean literature.
Summing Up: Highly Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty."
"Hispanic Caribbean Literature of Migration: Narratives of Displacement is an impressive accomplishment. The essays explore key moments in the history of Caribbean Latino literature and bring expert critical attention to trends over the past 150 years. Latino, meaning of Spanish speaking heritage in Anglo-America, is a word that points to contrapuntal doubling from the richly informative introduction by Vanessa Pérez Rosario and throughout the dozen excellent essays. The collection foregrounds the work of both established and younger scholars in the field, all of whom tackle a major author and deepen our appreciation through rich contextualization and fine readings. No other book I know on Latino literature is as timely, broad, and welcome."