On Poetry and Social Distancing


“I have always kept my distance so it is inspirational to see the singular become a plurality,” said Giannina Braschi in a recent Q&A with the New York State Writers Institute about the writer’s life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In these times when we can’t breathe, Breathing Chaos and Poetry by Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi is inspirational,” Braschi said, while noting forthcoming titles by The MIT Press that she was looking forward to reading, including: Immunodemocracy: Capitalist Asphyxia by Donatella Di Cesare and Irreversible Noise by Inigo Wilkins.

The avant-garde Puerto Rican poet and novelist is the subject of an anthology of essays entitled Poets, Philosophers, Lovers: On the Writings of Giannina Braschi, co-edited by “Professor Latinx” Frederick Luis Aldama and Tess O’Dwyer (U Pittsburgh, 2020). With a foreword by cultural theorist Ilan Stavans, this scholarly optic celebrates Braschi’s pioneering role in Latin American literature, Nuyorican poetry, experimental fiction and theater, and radical political philosophy.  

The New York State Writers Institute, founded in 1983 by the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist William Kennedy, produces the Albany Book Festival and a myriad of literary conferences and special events, including “Performing Voices of the Puerto Rican Diaspora,” which presented Braschi and other major poets of the Nuyorican movement.

For the full interview, click here:

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