Tato Laviera


Nuyorican poet Tato Laviera was born in Puerto Rico, the son of a philosopher and a writer. He moved to New York City in 1960, and was educated at Cornell University and Brooklyn College. Shifting between English and Spanish in his poetry, Laviera addresses themes of immigration, history, and transcultural identity. Laviera was the author of several collections of poetry, including La Carreta Made a U-Turn (1979), AmeRícan(1985), Mainstream Ethics (Etica corriente) (1988), and Mixturao and Other Poems (2008). He also wrote more than a dozen plays, including King of Cans, which premiered in 2012 at New York’s Red Carpet Theater. Laviera lived in New York, and dealt with diabetes and blindness until his death in 2013. Source


pues estoy creando spanglish

bi-cultural systems

scientific lexicographical

inter-textual integrations

two expressions

existentially wired

two dominant languages

continentally abrazándose

en colloquial combate

en las aceras del soil

imperio spanglish emerges

control pandillaje

sobre territorio bi-lingual

las novelas mexicanas

mixing with radiorocknroll

condimented cocina lore


nasal mispronouncements

baraja chismeteos social club

hip-hop prieto street salsa

corner soul enmixturando

spanish pop farándula

standard english classroom

with computer technicalities

spanglish is literally perfect

spanglish is ethnically snobbish

spanglish is cara-holy inteligencia

which u.s. slang do you speak?





Literary Movements:

Nuyorican Movement

Anthology Years:




Intersectionality & Culture

Literary Devices:


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences


the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing