Friday, February 06, 2004


FEBRUARY 4, 2004
AT 703-585-5264

Nuyorican Poet Bonafide Rojas Releases Pelo Bueno --
Independent Publishing Company to hold historic book release at famed
New York Bowery Poetry Club

Dark Souls Press, a Nuyorican owned independent publishing company dedicated to promoting the visual, oral, and literary traditions of the African Diaspora, announced the long awaited book release of Pelo Bueno: A Day In the Life of A Nuyorican Poet by Bonafide Rojas. The historic book release party will occur on February 15, 2004, at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City.

Famed Nuyorican poet Bonafide Rojas, a native of The Bronx, NYC, is a poet/musician/photographer/teacher who is at the forefront of the current Latino literary renaissance. He was the 2002 SLAM THIS! Poetry champion and was also a member of the 2002 NYC | Union Square Slam team and the 2003 Chicago Wicker Park Slam team. He has worked with Teachers and Writers (NY), ASPIRA of NY (NY), ENLACE (NY), Muevete! (NY), Youth Speaks (CA), the Guild Complex (IL), Young Chicago Authors (IL), and the Louder Arts Collective (NY).

Nuyorican poet Bonafide Rojas follows in the tradition of Julia De Burgos, Clemente Soto Velez, Pedro Pietri, Victor Hernandez Cruz, Tato Laviera, and the many others who have pushed a Puerto Rican literary canon. His work can be found in Bum Rush the Page: a Def Poetry Jam (Three Rivers Press, 2002), Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social and Political Black Literature and Art (Third World Press, 2002), The “Centro Journal,” an academic publication of The Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Hunter College, 2001) focusing on the next generation of Nuyorican poets, Blu Magazine’s “Puerto Rican Issue - Roots and Culture”, and Freedom to Speak, the first anthology by Poetry Slam, Incorporated.

Pelo Bueno, through poems like Creed of a Graffiti Writer, Invisible Ones, and 25 Years In, lets the reader see the maturity of a Latino writer spitting in the wind, his Nommo creating poems that resurrect ancestors and endorse empowerment. The book features artwork by fronterizo artist Francisco Enrique Delgado, an introduction by African Diaspora Scholar & Writer Louis Reyes Rivera, and an introduction by publisher and Nuyorican poet Shaggy Flores.

Here’s the voice of the new Nuyorican, the poetic tales of Rican life at the millennium. Bonafide is rooted in those familiar old mean streets of El South Bronx y El Barrio; he tells and retells the daily rituals of the hood then and now, drugs and dominoes, police brutality and graffiti immortality, Sandra María Esteves cultural ceremonies and Pedro Pietri life-in-death obituaries. What makes him Bonafide is that he celebrates all parts of his quirky self, his long hippie hair and love for rock and roll, his adoration of Che and Julia de Burgos and Neruda and Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Gandhi and Jimi Hendrix. In Pelo Bueno, we see the invisible and hear the silenced and the mute. Here, for a change, naps and kinks and ‘fros, braids and cornrows is not pelo malo. That’s good hair, rich, full, sculpted pelo bueno.-Juan Flores

Puerto Rican Scholar, Author of From Bomba to Plena

The book release party for Pelo Bueno demonstrates that while many in the Nuyorican canon would be content with poems that only speak to their personal experiences, Rojas chooses to personalize issues of oppression and cultural preservation. His dialectic focuses on several themes—the immigrant experience in America, tales of wasted talent in an Andy Warhol Era, and visions of war in faraway lands. Through his use of language, the rhythms of Hip-Hop and Rock & Roll speak with a Bronx Boogie attitude that reflects his Nuyorican roots. A child of the Puerto Rican Diaspora transplanted to the streets of Nueva Yol, Mr. Rojas uses his words as blades, cutting through the absurdity and deceit that often plague our judgment.

The blade-edged gospel of the city, in the deft and capable clutches of Bonafide, jolts and transports the congregation. This is no typical urban griot spewing worn rhythms. Bonafide sizzles with unflinching focus, and crafts uncommon stanzas using a language that virtually burns with his signature. There is no voice like this.-Patricia Smith

Author of Close to Death & Big Towns, Big Talk

The book release party, hosted by the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City, starts at 8pm on the 15th of February. The Bowery Poetry Club was created by legendary poet, writer, and scholar Bob Holman as a place where cutting edge poets could develop and share their craft. Poets performing that night include Willie Perdomo, Crystal Lee Endsley, Monique Jarvis, Jane Alberdeston Coralin, Roger Bonair Agard, Tish Benson, Lemon, Louis Reyes Rivera, Oscar Bermeo, Fish Vargas, Guy Lecharles Gonzalez, Soulfighter, Crystal Senter Brown, Ed Garcia, Caridad de La Luz - La Bruja, Benjamin Hughes, the Dark Souls Collective, Rich Villar, Shaggy Flores, and many more of today’s hottest poets!

Signed copies of the book will be available at the book release party. Advance copies can be ordered at Admission to the event is only $10.00.


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