Descanse en Paz
Nuyorican poet Pedro Pietri, while flying back to New York from Tijuana in an air ambulance on March 1, has passed.
Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and raised in General Grant Housing Project in Harlem, poet and playwright Pedro Pietri’s work is an expression of the struggle for Puerto Rican liberation, inspiring poets of oppressed peoples in the United States and abroad since the 1960’s. He attended public schools in New York City and was drafted to serve in the Vietnam War from 1966-68. His publications include Illusions of a Revolving Door: Plays (1992) (the first time a Nuyorican writer published his work in English on the island); The Masses are Asses (1984); Traffic Violations (1983); Lost in the Museum of Natural History (1980); Invisible Poetry (1979); and Puerto Rican Obituary (1973). His work has also been included in anthologies such as: The Prentice Hall Anthology of Latino Literature (ed. Eduardo del Rio, 2002); The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry (ed. Alan Kaufman, 2000), The Latino Reader (eds. Harold Augenbraum and Margarite Fernandez Olmos, 1997), Inventing a Word: An Anthology of Twentieth-Century Puerto Rican Poetry (ed. Julio Marzan, 1980), and The United States of Poetry.
Pietri was a co-founder of El Spirit Republic de Puerto Rico and El Puerto Rican Embassy. Before the recent release of 11 Puerto Rican prisoners of war and political prisoners, he has been active in poetry programs dedicated to their freedom. His honors include several New York State Creative Arts in Public Service grants and a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts.
Read Pietri’s epic poem “Puerto Rican Obituary”