Past Features

April 7, 2008 (Vol. 7, No. 6)

Lehman to Celebrate Poetry of Puerto Rican Poet

Juan Antonio Corretjer
Poet Juan Antonio Corretjer
Lehman will commemorate the centennial birth of Puerto Rico's National Poet Juan Antonio Corretjer with a special poetry reading on Monday, April 14, at 4 p.m. in the Fine Arts Classroom of the Leonard Lief Library.

Born in Ciales, Puerto Rico, on March 3, 1908, Corretjer moved to New York City at the end of the 1920s, but returned to Puerto Rico shortly after that and joined the island's Nationalist Party. He served as the Party's administrative secretary and later as secretary general. In 1936, he was jailed in La Princesa State Penitentiary by the colonial government and was later sent to prison in Atlanta, joining other Party leaders.

Corretjer was released from prison in 1942, but was forbidden to return to Puerto Rico until after the end of World War II, and remained a militant nationalist as well as a socialist until his death in 1985. Notwithstanding his politics, Corretjer contributed major works of poetry and is admired for the use of the Puerto Rican folk décima and for an intense lyricism. His works include Alabanza en la torre de Ciales (1953), Yerba Bruja (1957), Distancias (1957), and Aguinaldo Escarlata (1974).

Sponsored by the Department of Languages and Literatures, the Department of Latin American and Puerto Rican Studies, and the Division of Arts and Humanities, the program will feature Lehman students reading from Corretjer's works. A reception will follow.

For more information, call 718-960-7717.