Dancing from New York to Anglo-Illinois
To the memory of Otto Pikaza and Sammy Medina (RIP)
This chapter looks at Carmen Pursifull, who, like many of the writers of the first half of the twentieth century, were distanced from the radical politics of community ideologues and dreamers. Intense, erotic, ironic, sometimes embarrassingly direct, flat, uneven, at times evocative and haunting, Pursifull's poetry portrays the full range of her life. Since 1975, Pursifull has published widely in Illinois, Midwestern, and national publications, including a few poems in the literary magazine of the University of Illinois' La Casa Cultura Latina—the campus' Latino student center, of which she became a kind of local poet laureate and matriarch. In 1982, she also self-published the largest volume of poetry by any Illinois Puerto Rican poet, Carmen by Moonlight. Since then, she has added several small volumes to her published opus and has worked on other texts, including a novel.
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