Puerto Rican Author and Poet

Giannina Braschi is the author of Empire of Dreams, Yo-Yo Boing! and United States of Banana.

Braschi by photographer Laurent Eli Badessi

PEN called Braschi “one of the most revolutionary voices” in Latin American Literature today.

Her work is a hybrid of poetry, fiction, theater, and political philosophy. She writes in Spanish, Spanglish, and English on far-ranging subjects—from immigration, economy, and colonialism—to love, liberty, and creativity. The United States Library of Congress calls her work “cutting-edge, influential and even revolutionary.”

Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Braschi was a fashion model, singer, and tennis champion in her teen years. She studied literature in Madrid, Rome, London, and Rouen before settling in New York City. With a Ph.D. in Hispanic Literatures from State University of New York, Stony Brook, she taught at Rutgers University, City University of New York, and Colgate University. She has published on Cervantes, Garcilaso, Machado, Lorca, and Bécquer.

A Literature Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, Braschi has won awards/grants from Ford Foundation, Danforth Scholarship, New York Foundation for the Arts, Reed Foundation, InterAmericas, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, Rutgers, and PEN.

Her life’s work is the subject of Poets, Philosophers, Lovers: on the Writings of Giannina Braschi, a collection of essays edited by Frederick Luis Aldama and Tess O’Dwyer, with a preface by Ilan Stavans. (University of Pittsburgh Press).

In recent years, her avant-garde writings have appeared in far-ranging cultural spaces such as television comedy, chamber music, art and design, theater, and ecologic urbanism. Read on about the myriad of adaptations and applications of her poetry—including the Giannina chair in World Literature Today.

Bradley Rubenstein's Bunny Painting for Giannina Braschi