Iconic Puerto Rican Poet Giannina Braschi
From Tennis Champion to Award-Winning Author
The international writers organization, PEN calls the Puerto Rican poet and author Giannina Braschi “one of the most revolutionary voices in Latin American literature today”.
In Puerto Rico, we are proud to call this Boricua more simply “one of us!”
Born in San Juan, Giannina Braschi was a founding member of El Coro de Niños de San Juan, a fashion model, and tennis champion in her teen years on the island. Her family friends and mentors included the legendary playwright René Marqués who wrote la Carreta and the public intellectual Nilita Vientós Gastón who legally defended Spanish as the language for the Puerto Rican court system. These and other Boricua heroes were influential to Braschi’s calling to literature.
Braschi famously wrote the poem “Yo Soy Boricua” in United States of Banana.
“Soy boricua. In spite of my family and in spite of my country—I’m writing the process of the Puerto Rican mind—taking it out of context—as a native and a foreigner—expressing it through Spanish, Spanglish, and English—Independencia, Estado Libre Asociado, and Estadidad—from the position of a nation, a colony, and a state—Wishy, Wishy-Washy, and Washy—not as one political party that is parted into piddly parts and partied out. Todos los partidos están partidos y son unos partidos.”Poets.org