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New York 1987
  • Tyler Fisher, University of Central Florida
Dedicated to the Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos (1914-1953), Sherezada (Chiqui) Vicioso's evocation of New York City conjures up a sensory experience of the bustling metropolis alongside references to its international, and especially Latino, ingredients. Vicioso depicts a city that is infused with but strangely unaware of its Hispanic heritage, which her enumeration of food, music, contraband, Afro-Caribbean spirits, and expatriates calls to the surface. The poem’s minimal punctuation, idiosyncratic line- and word-divisions, wordplay, blend of archaic and current diction, and sporadically disjointed syntax underscore a crowded, onrushing, almost incantatory medley of past and present, local and transnational. In its cascade of allusions, the poem invites the reader to reflect on a New York City that bridges the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the Caribbean in its amplest sense (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama), and Latin American more broadly. The city, Vicioso reminds us, has been a brief home for intellectual, political, and military leaders of the Hispanic Caribbean, whether in official or self-imposed exile, as it was for Julia de Burgos.
  • Chiqui Vicioso,
  • Sherezada Vicioso,
  • New York,
  • urban poetry,
  • immigrant poetry,
  • translation
Publication Date
January, 2019
Citation Information
“New York 1987,” translation of Sherezada (Chiqui) Vicioso’s “Nueva York 1987,” in Belkis Ramírez’s exhibition, In Memoriam: Commemorative Works by Contemporary Artists, University of Saint Joseph Art Museum, Connecticut (Jan 2019).