Miguel Algarin Founder of Nuyorican Poets Café Passes Away

Miguel Algarin, the poet, professor, and founder of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, passed away on November 30th. He was 79.
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Miguel Algarin, the poet, professor, and founder of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, passed away on November 30th. He was 79.

The statement was released by today by Nuyorican Poets Cafe:

We reflect on the legacy of our organization's founder, Miguel Algarín, who passed on Monday after a decades-long career as a poet, activist, educator, leader and advocate for the literary and performing arts.

He was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico and in 1950, his family moved to New York City’s Loisaida, the neighborhood which - due to Miguel's visionary work - would later become the epicenter of the Nuyorican Literary movement.

In his apartment, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe was born as an outspoken and passionate collective of poets, musicians, theater artists and activists.

Miguel was a brilliant poet, an influential professor and leader, and a supportive mentor who inspired and guided generations of artists.

He edited popular anthologies of poetry and theater, including Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and Action; he helped launch the Nuyorican Literary movement; and he played an instrumental role in popularizing spoken word and performance poetry across the United States and around the world.

Miguel and the Cafe's co-founders amplified the voices and championed the work of Latinx, Black, LGBTQ+ and immigrant artists who were not accepted by the academic, entertainment or publishing industries.

Thanks to their pioneering work, and thanks to our community of friends and supporters, the Cafe has remained a vibrant home for creative expression since 1973.

The literary world owes Miguel a debt of gratitude and we wouldn’t be here today without his groundbreaking efforts.

During this most challenging of years, we're grateful that the Cafe's community has helped us to continue serving artists, audiences and students as we have transitioned our open mic, poetry, Latin jazz, theater and education programming online.

While the Cafe remains closed due to COVID restrictions, we will host an online tribute to Miguel later this month, and an in-person tribute as soon as we're allowed to reopen. We look forward to seeing you all soon to celebrate the life and work of Miguel Algarín.

Thank you,

The Nuyorican Poets Cafe Team

Miguel Algarin performs "Meet Walking" Poem on HBO's Def Poetry

Miguel Algarin recites poems with musical accompaniment

The Miguel Alagarin Story Part#1

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