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.


2012 National Book Festival: Poetry & Prose


The Washington Post.  Entertainment.  Books.

Everything you wanted to know about the National Book Festival (but were afraid to ask)

Poetry & Prose Schedule

Sat Sept 22 

10:00-10:45 Poetry Out Loud Award-winning students will perform notable poetry in an event sponsored by Poetry Out Loud. The program encourages high school students to learn about poetry and their literary heritage through memorization and recitation — a practice that also improves public-speaking skills and builds self-confidence. No signing.

10:55-11:40 Paul Hendrickson, a feature writer for The Washington Post for more than 20 years, now teaches nonfiction writing at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include “The Living and the Dead: Robert McNamara and Five Lives of a Lost War” and, most recently, “Hemingway’s Boat: Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934-1961.” Signing at noon.

11:50-12:35 Colson Whitehead’s first novel, “The Intuitionist,” concerned intrigue in New York’s Department of Elevator Inspectors. In 2002, he received a MacArthur Fellowship. His most recent novel, “Zone One,” is about a plague of zombies. Signing at 2.

12:45-1:30 Philip Levine, a former poet laureate of the United States, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for “The Simple Truth.” Levine’s 1991 collection, “What Work Is,” won the National Book Award, as did his 1980 collection, “Ashes: Poems Old and New.” Signing at 2:30.

1:40-2:25 Tayari Jones ’s fiction centers on the urban South. Her first novel, “Leaving Atlanta,” is a coming-of-age story set during that city’s infamous child murders of 1979-81. Her new book is “Silver Sparrow.” Signing at 3.

2:35-3:20 Jeffrey Eugenides won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for his novel “Middlesex.” His previous novel, “The Virgin Suicides,”was made into a film by Sofia Coppola. His latest novel is “The Marriage Plot.” Signing at 4.

3:30-4:15 Margot Livesey ’s first book, a collection of stories called “Learning by Heart,” was published in 1986. Since then Livesey has published seven novels, including her latest, “The Flight of Gemma Hardy.” Signing at 1.

4:25-5:10 T.C. Boyle is the author of 23 books of fiction; his stories have been published in the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, the Paris Review, GQ and Granta. In 1988, he received the PEN/Faulkner Award for “World’s End.” His new novel is “San Miguel.” Signing at 2:30.


Noon-12:45 Giannina Braschi’s first published work was a book of poetry, “Asalto al tiempo”; since then she has had essays, a novella and more poetry published in Spanish. She went on to write the novel “Yo-Yo Boing!” in Spanglish. Her new novel is her first in English: “United States of Banana.” Signing at 1.

12:55-1:40 Nikky Finney has written four books of poetry: Her newest, “Head Off & Split,” received the 2011 National Book Award. She is a professor of creative writing at the University of Kentucky. Signing at 3:30.

1:50-2:35 Stephen Dunn, professor of creative writing at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2001 for “Different Hours,” one of 16 collections of poetry he has published. His newest is “Here and Now.” Among the publications in which his work has appeared are the Atlantic, the New Republic and the New Yorker. Signing at 4:30.

2:45-3:30 Thomas Mallon’s eight novels include “Henry and Clara,” “Bandbox,” “Fellow Travelers” and his newest, “Watergate.”His work appears in the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times Book Review and other publications. He directs the Creative Writing Program at George Washington University. Signing at 4.

3:40-4:25 Junot Diaz is the author of “Drown” as well as “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. His fiction has been published in the New Yorker and several times in the annual Best American Short Stories anthology. His new short story collection is “This Is How You Lose Her.” Signing at 2.

4:35-5:20 Laura Kasischke, who teaches at the University of Michigan, has published seven collections of poetry and seven novels. Her newest book of poetry, “Space, in Chains,” won a 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award. Her novel “The Life Before Her Eyes” was the basis for a 2007 film starring Uma Thurman. Signing at 2:30.

National Book Festival authors share their favorite books




National Book Festival writers reveal their favorite titles and explain what makes them so special: 

Author: Giannina Braschi

Thus Spoke Zarathustra” by Friedrich Nietzsche is a book not to be read, but to be learned by heart. It is a book of wisdom with a thought in every line. I have six or seven copies, but the one I learned by heart is the raggedy, dog-eared, crackling paperback, splitting through the spine.

Walter Kaufmann, Translator


In the News. September 14, 2012

Library of Congress National Book Festival 2012

BookNews, Washington, DC, June 2012:

With the President and Mrs. Obama serving as Co-Chairs, the 2012 Library of Congress National Book Festival will convene headlining poets and writers such as Philip Roth, Mario Vargas Llosa, Giannina Braschi, Jeffrey Eugenides, Philip Levine, and Nikky Finney.

The National Book Festival will take place on Saturday, September 22nd and Sunday, September 23, 2012, between 9th and 14th streets on the National Mall. The event, free and open to the public, will run from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, rain or shine. Festival-goers can meet and hear firsthand from the poets and writers, have books signed, and take their photos with PBS storybook characters. An estimated 200,000 people will attend.

Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for “American Pastoral.” In 1998 he received the National Medal of Arts at the White House, and in 2002 received the highest award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Gold Medal in Fiction. He has twice won the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. “The Plot Against America” won the Society of American Historians’ prize for outstanding historical novel on an American theme in 2003–2004.

Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature, has used his writing to oppose authoritarianism and to condemn societies that fetter personal freedom. His works include “The Time of the Hero” (1963), “The Green House” (1966), “Conversation in the Cathedral” (1969), “The War of the End of the World” (1987), “The Storyteller” (1987) and “The Dream of the Celt” (2010). In the early 1970s Vargas Llosa began to advocate democracy and the free market. In the late 1980s he ran unsuccessfully for the presidency of Peru, recorded in his memoir “A Fish in the Water” (1993).


Giannina Braschi, called “one of the most revolutionary voices in Latin America today” by the PEN American World Voices Festival, wrote the postmodern poetry classic “Empire of Dreams” and the Spanglish tour de force novel “Yo-Yo Boing!” The Associated Press praised Braschi’s explosive new book “United States of Banana” (AmazonCrossing 2011) as a work of unlimited imagination and fearless language. She writes in a blend of poetry, prose, and drama, also mixing Spanish, Spanglish, and English. She writes in these three languages to express the enculturation process of millions of Hispanic immigrants to the USA and to explore the three politic options of her native Puerto Rico–Nation, Colony or State. She has won grant/awards from National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Ford, Danforth, and Reed Foundations, Puerto Rican Institute of Culture, and PEN American Center.

Jeffrey Eugenides, a native of Detroit, published his first novel, “The Virgin Suicides,” to acclaim in 1993. His novel “Middlesex” won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, Best American Short Stories, The Gettysburg Review and Granta’s “Best of Young American Novelists.”

Nikky Finney was born in South Carolina, a child of activists. She came of age during the civil rights and Black Arts Movements. Finney has authored four books of poetry: Head Off & Split (2011); The World Is Round (2003); Rice (1995); and On Wings Made of Gauze (1985). Professor of English and creative writing at the University of Kentucky, Finney also authored Heartwood (1997) edited The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (2007), and co- founded the Affrilachian Poets. Finney’s fourth book of poetry, Head Off & Split was awarded the 2011 National Book Award for poetry.

The Library of Congress Pavilion will showcase treasures in the Library’s vast online collections and offer information about Library programs. Sponsor Target will reprise its “Family Storytelling Stage” featuring authors and musical acts popular with young children. The 2012 National Book Festival is made possible through the generous support of National Book Festival Board Co-Chair David M. Rubenstein; Charter Sponsors Target, The Washington Post and Wells Fargo; Patrons the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts and PBS KIDS; Contributors Barnes & Noble; Digital Bookmobile powered by OverDrive and Scholastic Inc.; and—in the Friends category–the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, The Hay Adams and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Thanks also to C-SPAN2’s Book TV, The Junior League of Washington and The Links. The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may be accessed through the Library’s website,