Becoming Julia de BurgosThe Making of a Puerto Rican Icon

Becoming Julia de BurgosThe Making of a Puerto Rican Icon

Vanessa Pérez Rosario

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780252038969

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

Abstract

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. This book, the first book-length study written in English, examines poet and political activist Julia de Burgos's development as a writer, her experience of migration, and her legacy in New York City. The book 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, the book 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. The book 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.