American Voces @ John Hopkins



Giannina Braschi
September 26, 2013, 5:15pm
American Voces Authors Series
Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures
The Johns Hopkins University
3400 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21218

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Caras Special Edition: Most Influential Puerto Ricans of 2012

  1. Reblogged from Latin Culture Today:  Here are the highlights of “CARAS 2012:  Los grandes protagonistas de Puerto Rico“.   Patricia de la Torre, Editorial Director.  Jaime RIvera, Photography Director .  

    Topping the List of the Most Influential and Exciting Puerto Ricans Today are…

    Turning heads with their own eclectic spin on reggaetonCALLE 13 is the hottest band to emerge from Puerto Rico in decades, with 19 Latin Grammy Awards and 2 Grammy Awards. As hot as their sound is their political fire; these musicians are avid supporters of the Puerto Rican independence movement, both a source of controversy and a musical inspiration.

     GIANNINA BRASCHI, one of the most imaginative and funny writers to emerge from Latin America in the past 25 years, is the radical author of the new book UNITED STATES OF BANANA and the best-selling Spanglish novel YO-YO BOING!  The Associated Press calls Braschi’s writing “fearless” and her imagination “limitless”.  Whether her award-winning books are written in Spanish, Spanglish or English, Braschi is a festival favorite at headlining events such as the National Book Festival, The Modern Language Association Convention, and the PEN World Voices Festival.

    JENNIFER LOPEZ, the global performing arts sensation, is one of the most multi-talented artists and entrepeneurs today.  J Lo is an actress, dancer, film producer, philanthropist, and singer. In 2012, she was ranked at number one on business magazine Forbes‘s Celebrity 100 list, which named her the most powerful celebrity, with earnings of $52 million that year.

    ALEJANDRO GARCIA PADILLA is the new GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO as of January 2013.  Prior, he was a member of the 24th Senate of Puerto Rico and President of the Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico.

    CARLOS BELTRAN plays outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals. Beltrán is known for being one of the best all-time statistical hitters in Major League Baseball postseason games, which has earned him nicknames such as “Señor Octubre” and “the real Mr.October” .



    MARC ANTHONY is a two-time Grammy and three-time Latin Grammy–award winning singer and actor who has sold more than 12 million salsa and ballad albums worldwide.

TONY RAMOS, OLYMPIC GYMNAST FROM PUERTO RICO, placed in the finals at the London Olympics in 2012. May he bring home the gold from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero. 

RICKY MARTIN currently stars as Che in the Broadway revival of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Evita.  In addition to being a POP SINGER AND BROADWAY ACTOR, he is a philanthropist whose foundation is dedicated to eliminating human trafficking.

MONICA PUIG, TENNIS PLAYER, won the ITF tournament in Joué-lès-Tours in 2012, which included a first round win against Alexandra Panova.  Her star is on the rise.

BENICIO DEL TORO, ACTOR and FILM PRODUCER, has won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a BAFTA Award.

RICHARD CARRION is not only the CEO and Chairman of BANCO POPULAR, but he also runs the Finance Committee for the International Olympics.  He is one of Puerto Rico’s most successful businessmen in addition to being a philanthropist dedicated to providing underprivileged children with education and sports opportunities.

*For more complete bios see CARAS 2012 SPECIAL EDITION: Los grandes protagonistas de Puerto Rico.


The Guardian: Latin American Novels and Poetry

 The Guardian (UK) Books Podcast             

Latin American Novels and Poetry (What the Future Holds)                                         

Presented by Sarah Crown; produced by Tim Maby

The death last month of Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes at the age of 83 marked a significant moment in Latin American literature. Fuentes, along with Colombia’s Gabriel García Márquez, Peru’s Mario Vargas Llosa and Argentina’s Julio Cortázar, spearheaded the 1960s Latin American Boom that saw literature from South America reaching across the continent’s borders to touch readers around the globe. But with Fuentes gone and Márquez and Vargas Llosa approaching old age, the echoes of the Boom begin to fade. In this week’s podcast, we cast an eye over Latin American literature’s past, and look to where it’s now heading.

Richard Lea speaks to Peruvian novelist Alonso Cueto about his prize-winning novel The Blue Hour, first published in 2005 but available in English translation for the first time this month. While Sarah Crown speaks to poet Fiona Sampson about the continent’s verse, and Latin American expert Ingrid Bejerman about the what the future holds for Latin American literature.The Guardian’s Reading List

Mexico (the “crack” generation)







Chile (the McOndo literary movement)                  




  • The Year of the Desert by Pedro Mairal                                       
  • Traveller of the Century by Andrés Neuman








Puerto Rico







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Puerto Rican Day Parade, Inspiration for Poetry

New Yorker Giannina Braschi finds inspiration in the Puerto Rican Day Parade on 5th Avenue, one of the largest parades in New York City with nearly 3 million spectators annually. The parade is the subject of Braschi’s classic poetry collection “El imperio de los sueños”, which was recently re-released by AmazonCrossing for World Literature in Translation in Spanish and English editions, in paperback and Kindle.

In this postmodern trilogy of the late 1980s, shepherds from the countryside invade, conquer, and colonize New York City on the Puerto Rican Day Parade, ringing the bells of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and overtaking the top floor of the Empire State Building where they sing and dance. This comic bucolic revolution evokes the longstanding Spanish tradition of pastoral poetry while conjuring the modern day images of New York City with all its energy and euphoria on the day of the parade.

In Braschi’s latest book, “United States of Banana”, that same revolutionary energy explodes in the resorts of San Juan, Puerto Rico–the author’s hometown–and runs south throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Braschi first published “El imperio de los sueños” in Spanish in 1988, the tour de force novel “Yo-Yo Boing!” in Spanglish in the 1998, and the dramatic new work of fiction “United States of Banana” in English in 2011. With these three books in three languages, the poet explores the linguistic and cultural journey of 50 million Hispanic-Americans living in the United States and debates the three political options of Puerto Rico—nation, colony, or state—as wishy, wishy-washy, or washy.

The Puerto Rican Day Parade celebrates the cultural heritage of 4 million Puerto Rican islanders and millions more on the mainland. In “United States of Banana”, Braschi discusses what it means to be a Puerto Rican writer: “Soy boricua. In spite of my family and in spite of my country, I’m writing the process of the Puerto Rican mind—taking it out of context—as a native and a foreigner—expressing it through Spanish, Spanglish, and English—Independencia, Estado Libre Asociado, and Estadidad—from the position of a nation, a colony, and a state—Wishy, Wishy-Washy, and Washy—not as one political party that is parted into piddley parts and partied out…”

Giannina Braschi’s titles are available from AmazonCrossing which makes award-winning and bestselling foreign languages authors accessible to English language readers for the first time. President of the Nobel committee for literature, Per Wästberg stated, “I have seen how recent laureates–Elfriede Jelinek…Le Clézio, Herta Müller–were virtually unknown and unprinted in England and the U.S. and only after the Nobel Prize were they able to find readers in English… AmazonCrossing deserves praise. Such translation and distribution of good literature…can only stimulate our cultures and inspire writers to widen their horizons.” AmazoncCrossing assesses awards, reviews, customer sales data, and other information from amazon sites around the world to identify, then acquire the rights, commission translations, and introduce compelling voices to the English-speaking market through multiple channels and formats, such as the amazon books store, amazon kindle store, and other national and independent booksellers. Giannina Braschi is the first Puerto Rican author to be launched globally by Amazon.

A poem from “Pastoral; or the Inquisition of Memories” in “Empire of Dreams”

Translation by Tess O’Dwyer

On the top floor of the Empire State a shepherd has stood up to sing and dance. What a wonderful thing. That New York City has been invaded by so many shepherds. That work has stopped and there is only singing and dancing. And that the newspapers—the New York Times, in headlines, and the Daily News—call out: New York. New York. New York. Listen to it. Hear it on the radio. And on television. Listen to the loudspeakers. Listen to it. The buffoons have died. And the little lead soldier. Shepherds have invaded New York. They have conquered New York. They have colonized New York. The special of the day in New York’s most expensive restaurant is golden acorn. It’s an egg. It’s an apple. It’s a bird. Fish. Melody. Poetry. And epigram. Now there is only song. Now there is only dance. Now we do whatever we please. Whatever we please. Whatever we damn well please.