Past Event

The Poetics of Cultural Resistance

Join the Public Square at IHC and the Juan Antonio Corretjer Puerto Rican Cultural Center for performances by Nuyorican poet/playwright Tato Laviera and “Nueva Trova” singer/songwriter Fernandito Ferrer followed by a lively community discussion.

Fernandito Ferrer is a young pioneer among a new generation of singer-songwriters in Puerto Rico. He first appeared on stage in 1997 and has since made himself known throughout the island, the Caribbean, the US, and Mexico. Ferrer draws on the Nueva Trova (New Song) genre of the ’70s, but has developed a unique style of his own with percussive guitar technique, impressive vocal abilities, and the use of subtle, yet powerful, melodic and poetic imagery.

Writer, poet, and playwright Tato Laviera was born in Puerto Rico and has lived in New York City since 1960. Called a “chronicler of life in El Barrio,” Laviera has taught creative writing at Rutgers and other universities on the East Coast. His many collections of poetry–including Enclave , La Carreta Made a U-Turn, and AmeRícan–examine what it means to be a Puerto Rican in the United States, the social problems that poor Puerto Ricans confront in urban areas, and the issues affecting today’s Latina women. His poems celebrate African Caribbean music in its traditional forms and in the contemporary urban context of New York City.

“A central tenet to Laviera’s work is his identification with the African American community in this country…New York City becomes the space where this convergence and cultural mestizaje (mixing) takes place. While maintaining a denunciative stance through the use of irony and tongue-in-cheek humor, Laviera’s work flourishes with a contagious optimism, and his poems are true songs to the joy of living which Puerto Ricans profoundly feel despite the harsh circumstances in which they live.” – Frances R. Aparicio

University of Illinois at Chicago

This event is part of the Know More series is designed to bridge the gap between the arts and social issues that are of current concern to Chicago’s Englewood and Humboldt Park communities. The Know More series is made possible by a grant from The Joyce Foundation. Programming for the Know More series has included visits from hip hop scholar Jeff Chang; Africana Studies scholar William Santiago-Valles; journalist Laura Washington; performer Will Power; and poet Elizabeth Alexander.

Reservations are not required. For more information, call 312.422.5580