Urayoán Noel


Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Urayoán Noel is the author of the poetry collections Transversal (2021), a New York Public Library Book of the Year also longlisted for a PEN award; Buzzing Hemisphere/Rumor Hemisférico (2015), a Library Journal Top Fall Indie Poetry selection; Hi-Density Politics (2010), a National Book Critics Circle Small Press Highlights selection; and Kool Logic/La Lógica Kool (2005), an El Nuevo Día Book of the Year. He is also the author of several books in Spanish, including Boringkén (2008) and the performance text EnUncIAdOr (2014). Noel’s other works include the DVD Kool Logic Sessions (2005, with composer Monxo López), the artist’s book and web installation The Edgemere Letters (2011, with artist Martha Clippinger), and the critical study In Visible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam (2014), winner of the LASA Latina/o Studies Section Book Award and an honorable mention in the MLA Prize in Latina/o and Chicana/o Literary and Cultural Studies. Noel is a contributing editor of NACLA Report on the Americas and Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, and a former contributing editor of Mandorla: New Writing from the Americas. He has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Bronx Council on the Arts, the Howard Foundation, and CantoMundo. He lives in the Bronx and is an associate professor of English and Spanish at NYU. Source

ode to coffee / oda al café

(after Juan Luis Guerra)


from Africa to a Caribbean hill

         de África a las lomas del Caribe

to the smiling ruin of our cities

         a la feliz ruina de ciudades

anoint the neural vessels we refill

         al matorral neural en donde vive

until your acid muse drowns our pities

         tu agria musa que ahoga soledades

return us to our tribe that grew dark beans

         devuélvenos al semillero isleño

cut through the grease of our late-night omelets

         metaboliza la grasa nocturna

and warm this empty diner by the club

         trae tu calor a nuestro desvelo

where luckless lovers stare at tiny screens

         haz que el amante no muera de sueño

and poets brew old socks into psalmlets

         tu borra es poema que embadurna

while dreaming it rains coffee from above.

         y sombría tu alegría de cielo.





Literary Movements:

Chicano Poetry


Anthology Years:





Poetic Form

Literary Devices:

After Poems

A poem where the form, theme, subject, style, or line(s) is inspired by the work another poet.

End Rhyme

when a poem has lines ending with words that sound the same


visually descriptive or figurative language, especially in a literary work


the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect


a lyric poem in the form of an address to a particular subject, often elevated in style or manner and written in varied or irregular meter