AmeRican, 2nd Edition

Tato Laviera
Driving Nuyorican poet’s collection explores the ethnic experience in the U.S. In Tato Laviera’s third collection, poems celebrate the array of stripes and colors making up the American people. In the beginning section, "Ethnic Tributes," Laviera crafts poems with titles like, "arab", "black," "chinese," "greek," "jamaican," "spanish," " and "mundo-world." In "Boricua," he fashions a timely plea for an end to prejudice, saying that for Puerto Ricans "... color is generally color blind/with us, that’s our contribution, all/the colors are tied/to our one." The latter two sections of the collection, "Values" and "Politics" build on the themes of ethnic exchange and the place of the boriqueño in that greater scheme. In "commonwealth," Laviera writes of these tensions. "I’m still in the commonwealth/stage of my life, not knowing/which ideology to select."

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