Julia de Burgos

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Julia de Burgos (February 17, 1914 – July 6, 1953) was a Puerto Rican poet. She was a Puerto Rican Nationalist. She advocated for civil rights for women, African Americans, and Afro-Caribbean people.[1]

Poetry career[change | change source]

In 1938, at the age of twenty-four, Julia de Burgos published her first book of poems by herself. She traveled around Puerto Rico selling copies. She was raising money to help cover the cost of her mother’s cancer treatments.[2] Her poems discuss themes of feminism, social justice, slavery, and Puerto Rican independence.[3]

She famously wrote, "I Am the Life, the Strength, the Woman."[4]

She influenced the poets of the Nuyorican movement, including Victor Hernández Cruz, Giannina Braschi, and Pedro Pietri.

She died of alcoholism in an East Harlem hospital in New York City.[5]

Today she is called a Puerto Rican icon. She is one of Puerto Rican greatest figures in Puerto Rican poetry.[6]

Poems[change | change source]

De Burgos wrote Poemas exactos a mi misma (1937), Poema en veinte surcos (1938), and Canción de la verdad sencilla (1939). Her poem El mar y tú: otros poemas (1954) was published after her death.

Honors and legacy[change | change source]

Her honors include awards from the Institute of Puerto Rican Literature. She has an honorary doctorate from the University of Puerto Rico. Many schools, public parks, and cultural centers are named after her, including: the Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center in Cleveland, the Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center in New York, and Julia de Burgos Park in Chicago.[3][7]

The Julia de Burgos postage stamp was issued on September 14, 2010, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It is the 26th stamp in the United States Literary Arts series.[8]

Related pages[change | change source]

Further Reading[change | change source]

  • Rosario, Vanessa Pérez. Becoming Julia de Burgos: The Making of a Puerto Rican Icon. University of Illinois Press, 2014.
  • Stavans, Ilan, ed. The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature. WW Norton, 2011.
  • Nieves, Myrna. "Breaking Ground: Anthology of Puerto Rican Women Writers in New York 1980–2012." Editorial Campana, 2012.

References[change | change source]

  1. Magazine, Harlem World (2018-05-03). "East Harlem's African/Afro-Caribbean Legendary Poet Julia de Burgos 1914 - 1953". Harlem World Magazine. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
  2. ROSARIO, VANESSA PÉREZ (2014). Becoming Julia de Burgos: The Making of a Puerto Rican Icon. University of Illinois Press. doi:10.5406/j.ctt6wr5kd. ISBN 978-0-252-03896-9. In December 1938, at the age of twenty-four, Julia de Burgos self-published her first collection of poetry and traveled around Puerto Rico selling copies. She was raising money to help cover the cost of her mother’s cancer treatments.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Foundation, Poetry (2020-11-12). "Julia de Burgos". Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
  4. "Vol. 17, No. 3, Summer, 1994 of Callaloo on JSTOR". www.jstor.org. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
  5. Cotter, Holland (2020-10-15). "Honoring Latinx Art, Personal and Political". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
  6. Crabapple, Molly. "'The Fatal Conscience': Julia de Burgos, Puerto Rico's Greatest Poet". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 2020-11-12. Puerto Rico’s most famous poet and greatest literary figure, Julia de Burgos is as significant a cultural figure for the island commonwealth as the artist Frida Kahlo is for Mexico.
  7. "Overlooked No More: Julia de Burgos, a Poet Who Helped Shape Puerto Rico's Identity (Published 2018)". The New York Times. 2018-05-03. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
  8. "julia de burgos postage stamp - Google Search". www.google.com. Retrieved 2020-11-12.