Nuyorican Feminist Performance

From the Café to Hip Hop Theater
Patricia Herrera

Recovers and celebrates the contributions of women artists to the history of this iconic performance venue


The Nuyorican Poets Café has for the past forty years provided a space for multicultural artistic expression and a platform for the articulation of Puerto Rican and black cultural politics. The Café’s performances—poetry, music, hip hop, comedy, and drama—have been studied in detail, but until now, little attention has been paid to the voices of its women artists. Through archival research and interview, Nuyorican Feminist Performance examines the contributions of 1970s and ’80s performeras and how they challenged the Café’s gender politics. It also looks at recent artists who have built on that foundation with hip hop performances that speak to contemporary audiences. The book spotlights the work of foundational artists such as Sandra María Esteves, Martita Morales, Luz Rodríguez, and Amina Muñoz, before turning to contemporary artists La Bruja, Mariposa, Aya de León, and Nilaja Sun, who infuse their poetry and solo pieces with both Nuyorican and hip hop aesthetics.

Patricia Herrera is Associate Professor of Theatre, American Studies, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Richmond.

Praise / Awards

  • "This study, therefore, provides indispensable knowledge about the Nuyorican Poets Café through a Nuyorican feminist aesthetic lens. . . Herrera’s methodological use of ethnography as well as textual and visual analysis will be beneficial not just for students of theatre and performance, but for Latinx studies as a whole."
    Theatre Topics
  • Honorable Mention: Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) 2021 Outstanding Book Award

News, Reviews, Interviews

Read: reviewed by Intervenxions 10/27/2020
Read: reviewed by Theatre Survey | December 2020

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 246pp.
  • 21 illustrations.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2020
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-07448-8

Add to Cart
  • $94.95 U.S.

  • Paper
  • 2020
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-05448-0

Add to Cart
  • $34.95 U.S.

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