top of page
Bendicion by Tato Laviera

Bendicion by Tato Laviera

SKU: 9781558858008

i think in spanish / i write in english / i want to go back to puerto rico /

but I wonder if my kink could live / in ponce, mayagüez and carolina.”

Tato Laviera ponders identity, community, urban life, oppression and much more in these multi-layered poems that spanned his too-short life. Reflecting his bilingual, bicultural Nuyorican existence, his work explores the universality of the human condition while celebrating his European, indigenous and African roots.

His verse is imbued with references to music, dance and the importance of language. Some of his poems deal with themes specific to the immigrant experience, such as the sense of alienation many feel when they are not accepted in their native or adopted lands. Laviera writes about returning to his native island, only to be looked down upon for his way of speaking: “ahora regreso, con un corazón boricua, y tú / me desprecias, me miras mal, me atacas mi hablar.”

Written in English, Spanish and frequently a skillful blend of the two, Bendición contains all of his previously published poems and some that were never previously published. Bendición is the life’s work of an internationally recognized poet; it will serve to keep Tato Laviera’s words and the issues he wrote about alive long after his death.

“This performance poet’s voice resonates loud and clear through forceful rhythmic variations and a complete command of both Spanish and English.”—Hispania on AmeRícan

“AmeRícan is branching out, the striking of sympathetic chords with other cultural groups on the basis of expansive Puerto Rican sound and rhythms. Laviera is intent on reaching beyond the New York enclave. He seeks to stake a claim for Puerto Rican recognition before the whole US society.”

—Journal of Ethnic Studies on AmeRícan

Journal of Ethnic Studies on AmeRícan

TATO LAVIERA (1952-2013) was a poet, playwright and community advocate. Born in Puerto Rico, he was raised in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. His books include Mixturao and Other Poems; Mainstream Ethics; AmeRícan; Enclave, winner of the American Book Award; and La Carreta Made a U-Turn. His plays have been produced in Chicago and New York City, and have been staged at The New Federal Theater, The Public Theater, the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, Circle in the Square and Teatro Cuatro. He lived and worked in New York City until his death.

bottom of page