This year marks the 20th anniversary Emanuel Xavier’s self-published chapbook Pier Queen, a poetic manifesto about his personal experiences coming of age as a former street hustler, drug dealer/addict, homeless youth and survivor of child abuse. To celebrate this LGBTQ Latinx and POC milestone, Rebel Satori Press has reissued the book with brand new cover art featuring a photograph by Richard Renaldi that captures the spirit and defiance of the Christopher Street West Side Highway piers. As part of Sweety’s Radio: Edicion Especial we will be honoring the anniversary of this chapbook with an exhibition and reception. On Friday, July 14, Xavier will be joined by percussionist Joyce Jones to recreate the spirit of late 90s poetry readings from the book Pier Queen in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of this landmark collection by a former homeless pier queen who went on to become one of the most significant voices of the LGBT and Latinx poetry movements.
Drawn from Xavier’s personal archives as well as artists in conversation with his work, the exhibition spans several bodies of work from throughout Xavier’s career; from videos, event flyers, fan notes (from Walter Mercado, Parker Posey, Penny Arcade), memorabilia from that era as well as photographs by Richard Renaldi and artwork by Gabriel Garcia Roman.
On Wednesday July 12 from 6-8pm, we will host “Realness & Rhythms,” a throwback to one of the very first spoken word poetry series for LGBTQ people of color held in NYC at A Different Light Bookstore by Emanuel in the mid 90s. Held in honor of Emanuel’s practice as organizer, he and Sweety’s member Ximena Izquierdo Ugaz brought together the poets Nancy Mercado, Andres Chulisi Rodriguez, Khalin Vasquez & Freaky Haiku, who will each have 15 minutes on the mic.
On Friday, July 14 from 6-8pm, a reception will be held featuring a reading by Emanuel Xavier joined by percussionist Joyce Jones to recreate the spirit of late 90s poetry readings, and followed by an interview hosted by Sweety’s member Ximena Izquierdo Ugaz.
This project is the third installment of Sweety’s Radio: Edición Especial, on view through July 30, 2017. Image courtesy of Richard Renaldi.
Emanuel Xavier is one of the most significant voices to emerge from New York. He is the author of the poetry collections Radiance, Nefarious, If Jesus Were Gay & other poems, Americano: Growing up Gay and Latino in the USA, Pier Queen and the novel, Christ Like as well as the spoken word/music collaboration album, Legendary- The Spoken Word Poetry of Emanuel Xavier, which inspired a choreographed dance presentation and a music video. He has been featured on HBO’s Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry, spoken at The United Nations and was a Bushwick TEDx speaker. A foreign documentary about innovative poets from around the world is soon to debut as part of the Edinburgh Film Festival.
Nancy Mercado is the editor of the Nuyorican Women Writers Anthology published in Voices e/Magazine, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College- CUNY; an online literary journal. She is a guest curator at the Museum of American Poetics and assistant editor for Eco-poetry.org; a web site dedicated to addressing the issue of climate crises. Mercado created Eco-Poetry’s companion FaceBook page. A writer, editor, activist and educator, Mercado was featured on National Public Radio’s The Talk of the Nation, and the PBS NewsHour Special: America Remembers 9/11. Also featured in The Encyclopedia of Hispanic American Literature (Facts on File) and inducted into The Museum of American Poetics, she is profiled in Latino Leaders Magazine, as “one of the most celebrated members of the Puerto Rican literary movement in the Big Apple.”
Andres Chulisi Rodriguez is an award-winning actor and the self-published author of “Slips, Trips and Falls” a collection of personal essays and poetry. As a performance poet and facilitator for acting and writing workshops, he keeps himself in constant creating mode. He produced and directed the comedy troupe LoseControltv, which can be found on YouTube under the same name. His one-man show, “I’m Just Saying”, sold out the National Black Theater and the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater for which he was a People’s Choice nominee for an HOLA Award. Brooklyn born and raised, Andres now resides in Harlem and graces the stage in the one-man show “Growing Up Gonzales” at the Actors Temple Theater in Midtown. He was also Mother of the House of Xavier (1998-2008).
Freaky Haiku is a Singer and Literary Artist from New York City. A latina Bronx native raised in Morris Heights, she began singing opera and choir at the age of 3, and began writing poetry and short stories at the age 10. Influenced over the years by the love of Hip Hop and Salsa music, Japanese art, and her grandparents, she became the jack of all trades through her melodic vocals, quirky haikus, and short poems and stories of fiction. This eventually led to her development as a spoken word performer and professional singer. She has performed in many local venues throughout the Bronx and has been a featured singer collaborating with Independent Hip Hop artists. Freaky Haiku stays true to her gentle, unique flows, performing with the elements of surprise and eccentric, sweet energy. Freaky Haiku is also a member of the Bronx Blaqlist Organization, dedicated to providing open spaces for local Bronx Artists, and all artists throughout NYC, to perform their majestry in local Bronx venues and businesses.
Cuchifritos is FREE to the public and handicap accessible. Located inside Essex Street Market at the south end nearest Delancey.
Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space is a program of Artists Alliance Inc., a 501c3 not for profit organization located on the Lower East Side of New York City within the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center. Cuchifritos is supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. This program is made possible by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. We thank the New York City Economic Development Corporation and individual supporters of Artists Alliance Inc for their continued support. Special thanks go to our team of dedicated volunteers and interns, without whom this program would not be possible. For more information, visit artistsallianceinc.org.