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Jesús Abraham "Tato" Laviera (September 5, 1950 – November 1, 2013) was a Hispanic poet and playwright in the United States.
- I write music with my mouth — first lyrics, then song, then rhythm.
- On his creative process in “An Interview with Tato Laviera, the King of Nuyorican Poetical Migrations” in Latino Rebels (2012 Jul 11)
- In the Lower East Side, the Puerto Ricans had already been ‘project-ed.’ The people were used to living in the projects. They worked on ships on South Street or in hotels. There were a lot of people collecting records, so music became a really important connection between New York City and Puerto Rico. We spoke English in the street and Spanish at home. A lot of music from Puerto Rico was played in the streets and in people’s homes. We listened to Bomba, Plena, pop music and Salsa.
- On his neighborhood while growing up in “An Interview with Tato Laviera, the King of Nuyorican Poetical Migrations” in Latino Rebels (2012 Jul 11)
- Puerto Rico in particular intertwines Caribbean Black Spanish. We dare to claim it. It is a source of pride and we are not linguistically crippled. My claim to fame is I can experiment, and sound intelligent with my linguistic experiments.
- On how he perceives Puerto Rico in “An Interview with Tato Laviera, the King of Nuyorican Poetical Migrations” in Latino Rebels (2012 Jul 11)
Quotes about Tato Laviera
- Her (Sandra María Esteves's) struggle for language, like Tato Laviera's, is not just linguistic, cultural or national, but also racial.
- Melissa Castillo-Garsow, ¡Manteca!: An Anthology of Afro-Latin@ Poets (2018)
- When I started writing, there were only two women writers that I knew: Lorraine Sutton and Margie Simmons. There were very few Latinas writing in English... So when I started, I was mainly surrounded by men-Pedro Pietri, Jesus Papoleto Melendez, Lucky Cienfuegos, Miguel Algarín, Miguel Piñero, Tato Laviera. Many of them had books already published. I was like a sponge, absorbing different things from these male contemporaries.
- Sandra María Esteves interview in A Poet's Truth by Bruce Allen Dick