Pedro Pietri Papers

Held by the Archives of the Puerto Rican Diaspora, Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, Hunter College, CUNY

Overview

Arrangement

Biographical Note

Scope and Content

Related Information

Use of Records

Administrative Information

Access Terms

Detailed Description


Overview of the Records

Repository:

Archives of the Puerto Rican Diaspora, Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, Hunter College, CUNY

695 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10021

Summary:
The Pedro Pietri Papers are an invaluable resource for information on the eclectic career of one of the Puerto Rican community's most prolific and experimental writers, as well as one of the founders of the Nuyorican poetry movement. Collection consists of correspondence, memoranda, photographs, flyers, posters, writings, artifacts, artwork, videotapes and audiocassettes.
Creator:
Pietri, Pedro, 1944-2004
Title:
Pedro Pietri Papers
Quantity:
55 cu. ft. (75 boxes plus videotapes, audiocassettes, art, artifacts and oversize materials)
Inclusive Dates:
1939-2004
Bulk Dates:
1970-2002
Series Number:
2004-06
Sponsor:
Processed with a grant from a congressional directed initiative sponsored by Congressman José Serrano and administered by the Institute for Museum and Library Services. Funding was also provided by the Council of the City of New York. This collection description was enhanced as a part of Ventana Al Pasado: Building a Latino/Hispanic Online Research Collection. The New York State Archives and Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños received funding for this project from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Arrangement

The collection has been organized into the following series and sub-series:

I. Biographical and Personal Information

II. Correspondence

III. Works by Pietri

1. Poetry

2. Plays and Other Performance Works

3. Film/Television Scripts and Treatments

4. Essays and Other Writings

5. Notebooks

IV. Works by Others

1. Poetry

2. Plays

3. Film/Television Scripts and Treatments

4. Essays and Other Writings

V. Publications

VI. Subject Files

VII. Organizations

VIII. Photographs

IX. Artwork

X. Artifacts

XI. Audio-Visual.

The folders are arranged alphabetically and the documents are arranged chronologically.

Biographical Sketch

Dubbed the "Sun Ra of Puerto Rican letters" and the "Poet Laureate of the Young Lords Party," Pedro Juan Pietri embodied the emerging sensibility of a generation of Puerto Ricans with one foot planted in the rhythms and culture of Puerto Rico and the other in the multicultural/ethnic urban ethos of New York City. Bridging the gap between the two islands, Pietri and his contemporaries learned to negotiate the vicissitudes of cultural belonging, creating a hybrid sensibility that merged decidedly Puerto Rican elements with those found on the streets and barrios of New York City. A poet, playwright and performer of prolific talent, Pietri stands out as one of the premiere exemplars of a distinctly Nuyorican aesthetic and has become a seminal figure in both the history of Puerto Rican letters and that of the downtown poetry scene in New York.

Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico on March 21, 1943 to Francisco and Petra Pietri, Pedro Juan Pietri came to New York City in 1945. Three years later, his maternal grandfather committed suicide owing to what Pietri has noted in several interviews as a sense of hopelessness and isolation brought on by his disappointment with the promise of New York and his break with Puerto Rico. In 1949, his father died from pneumonia, which he contracted while walking the wintry streets of New York severely underdressed, leaving Pietri's mother alone to raise Pietri and his four siblings – Brothers José (Joe), William (Willie) and Francisco (Frank) and Sister Carmen – along with her own widowed mother and sister.

Raised in a five-story walkup on Amsterdam Avenue in Harlem and in the General Ulysses S. Grant Houses, a public housing development in the area, Pietri graduated from Haaran High School in the Hell's Kitchen section of Manhattan in 1960. The following year he began work at Columbia University's Butler Library. It is here where he claims his real education in poetry and literature began. Taking advantage of the ready availability of books, Pietri, who already had a penchant for poetic verse and had dabbled in the writing of doo-wop songs, immersed himself in reading the works of Langston Hughes, Federico García Lorca, William Faulkner and W.B. Yeats, among others. He started writing more poetry and made the acquaintance of such noted poets as Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, Ted Joans and Gregory Corso, as well as that of one his early mentors, Roger Parris.

As a youth, Pietri had already been exposed to a rich oral tradition and to creativity through the popularity of song and radio dramas in his household, and the readings of his Aunt Irene at the First Spanish Methodist Church in East Harlem. The formalization of his poetic education and acquaintanceship with some of New York's more experimental poets only served to reinforce his early forays into the writing of poetry and encourage the development of his distinctive aesthetic. In addition, Pietri notes that his discovery of the poet Jorge Brandon in Manhattan's Union Square in the early 1960s presented him with the embodiment of a poetic style informed by the performative aspects of the song and radio-novelas of his youth and by the experimental declarations of the Beat and Umbra poets of the era. Moreover, the fact that Brandon was Puerto Rican and radically untraditional and irreverent deeply influenced the young Pietri and contributed to the formation of his poetic persona.

Between 1960 and 1966, Pietri held a number of short term jobs, among them the position at Butler Library, at a car wash and as a clerk at Klein's Department Store, and continued to make tentative forays into the writing and reading of poetry. In 1966, Pietri entered the armed services and was stationed at Fort Polk in Louisiana and Fort Hood in Texas before being sent to Vietnam. Although he remained in Vietnam for only a short period of time, his presence during the Tet Offensive, the witnessing of the deaths of numerous comrades and possible exposure to Agent Orange left an indelible mark on Pietri and had ramifications, at times severe, on his personal life and his development as a poet. In several interviews, Pietri makes reference to the fact that he died, or refused to die, in Vietnam, alluding to the dramatic consequences and subsequent rebirth of a new persona which his time there precipitated.

Upon his return from Vietnam, Pietri was confronted with the burgeoning social movements born of growing public sentiment against the Vietnam War and the civil rights struggles of previous years and eventually, if briefly, allied himself with the Young Lords Party and the Puerto Rican Socialist Party. Simultaneously, Pietri was reacquainting himself with the experimental poetry community, renewing relationships with Ginsberg, Joans and Baraka, and meeting members of the Last Poets, as well as Umbra poet David Henderson, who Pietri claims found him his first paid poetry reading at Sarah Lawrence College under the auspices of fellow poet June Jordan. It is at this time, in 1969, that Pietri composed and first performed his infamous poem, "Puerto Rican Obituary." Sardonically recounting the struggles of Puerto Rican migrants to survive and succeed in New York City, "Puerto Rican Obituary" has been noted as providing insightful and biting social commentary on the disadvantaged socio-economic position many Puerto Ricans found themselves in stateside, and the often troubled negotiations of identity and community which were its aftermath. Pietri's poem resonated significantly with his peers and took on an added political charge when he premiered it at the First Spanish United Methodist Church at Lexington and 111th Street, which the Young Lords had recently taken over and dubbed the "People's Church." The poem was also subsequently published in the Young Lords Party newspaper, Palante.

In the ensuing years, Pietri performed an early version of his performance piece/poem "Rent-A-Coffin" (1969), recorded his first LP of poetry titled Aqui se habla español: Pedro Pietri en Casa Puerto Rico (1971) and published his first compilation of poems Puerto Rican Obituary (1973) – a collection of 32 poems which included the by-then seminal poem of the same title. In 1971 and 1974 respectively he received grants from the Creative Artists Public Service (CAPS) program for his poetry. He also started teaching poetry workshops in New York City public schools, universities and local prisons, including workshops at The Muse Children's Museum (1972), The Voice of the Children Workshop (1970-1972), SUNY Buffalo (1968-1970), the Puerto Rican Association for Community Affair's Bilingual-Bicultural Early Childhood Project (1974) and the Teachers and Writers Collaborative (1968-1970). In 1975, in conjunction with El Museo del Barrio in East Harlem, Pietri, along with Jesús Papoleto Meléndez and Dr. Willie Pietri, coordinated the Puerto Rican Writers Workshop at Galería Dos in East Harlem, a poetry workshop intended to bring poets and community members together to read and discuss contemporary works by numerous writers. Two years later, in 1977, a Spanish edition of Puerto Rican Obituary, titled Obituario puertorriqueño and translated by Alfredo Matilla Rivas, was published by the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña. Pietri also recorded and released a second LP of poetry through Smithsonian Folkways titled Loose Joints in 1979.

Most significantly in these years, Pietri, along with fellow poet Miguel Algarín, among others, contributed to the founding of the Nuyorican Poets Café in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Originating in 1973 as a series of gatherings/poetry readings held in the living room of Algarín's apartment, the Nuyrorican Poets Café helped to foster a fertile environment for the development of the work of an emerging generation of Puerto Rican writers, raised predominantly in New York, who found themselves having to negotiate the cultural and linguistic differences between the Puerto Rico of their forbearers and contemporary New York. Forging a distinctly "Nuyorican" aesthetic and consciousness, these writers, among them Pietri, Algarín, Jesús Papoleto Meléndez, Lucky Cienfuegos, Bimbo Rivas and Miguel Piñero, carved out both a physical and intellectual space for themselves that validated their reality as hybrid individuals. Although Pietri later distanced himself from the Café, becoming critical of what he perceived as its increasing commercialism, he nevertheless continued to collaborate with the Café throughout his career, staging plays, poetry readings and other events.

Beginning in the 1970s, Pietri also began writing a number of plays, several of which were staged by local Puerto Rican theater companies, such as the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, as well as by more mainstream institutions such as Joseph Papp's Public Theatre. Already known for his dark humor and absurdist perspective on the human condition, Pietri's plays further explored this territory of the odd and often laughable predicaments of human folly, ambition and yearning, continuously infusing his narratives with his knowledge and experience of politics, culture and human nature. From Lewlulu, staged by the H.B. Playwrights in 1976, to Jesus is Leaving, staged at the Nuyorican Poets Café in 1977, to The Livingroom, staged by the H.B. Playwrights in 1978 and directed by the actor José Ferrer, Pietri's plays took traditional characters and themes (the star crossed lovers of Lewlulu, the relationship between Jesus and Mary in Jesus is Leaving and the dichotomy between sanity and metal illness in the The Livingroom) and proceeded to expose and explore their intrinsically ridiculous and sometimes desperately disturbing underbelly. Throughout the decade, Pietri wrote and staged a number of additional plays, including Seven Roosters and Three Drunken Poets (1975), To Get Drunk You Have to Drink (1976) (both in collaboration with Jesús Papoleto Meléndez and Dr. Willie Pietri) and Appearing in Person Tonight: Your Mother (1978), and also wrote numerous other plays and treatments that were never produced and/or published.

During these years, Pietri also found work writing for television and film. Initially writing story treatments for a PBS series produced by the Latino TV Broadcasting Service, Inc. titled Oye Willie, about a young Puerto Rican boy growing up in East (Spanish) Harlem, Pietri also wrote for the PBS program Realidades and penned several other story treatments for television. At the same time, he was increasingly attracted to the medium of film and collaborated on scripts with Jesús Papoleto Meléndez, Jack Billy, and with Meléndez and Dr. Willie Pietri, POPI. Pietri later authored a screenplay entitled Chico for Mayor (of Chinatown) which chronicled the efforts of a Puerto Rican man to be elected the "Mayor" of Chinatown in New York.

While Pietri's early and close collaboration with Miguel Algarín and other founding members of the Nuyorican Poet's Café waned in the early 1970s, his working relationships with fellow poet Jesús Papoleto Meléndez and Brother Dr. Willie Pietri became more central to furthering his artistic output. Alternately known as The Latin Insomniacs Social Club, Inc., The Latin Insomniacs M.C., Inc., The Latin Insomniacs M.C.W.C. (Motorcycle Club Without Motorcycles) and The Latin Insomniacs Motorcycle Club (Without Motorcycles) Inc., the trio of Pietri, Meléndez and Pietri staged performances, poetry readings and collaborated on the writing of film scripts, plays and mixed media performance pieces. Organizing the first South Bronx Surrealist Festival in the late 1970s, the group asserted its artistic allegiance to the American avant-garde and its syncretic relationship with Puerto Rican culture and art in their work.

As Pietri's own work continued to expand its linguistic and conceptual parameters and as he proceeded to explore other genres such as playwriting and scriptwriting, the Latin Insomniacs functioned as a laboratory of infinite possibilities which allowed Pietri to take his work in multiple and increasingly more experimental directions. Just as the New Dramatists would give Pietri a necessary support system for the development of his playwriting skills, the Latin Insomniacs was an indispensable resource of like minded individuals who could help inform and support his work. As evidenced by some of the works mentioned above, the Latin Insomniacs was very much a collaborative group that not only wrote jointly, but also influenced and informed individually-authored works. Several of Pietri's plays which were later produced by more established companies were written and initially staged with the Latin Insomniacs, including Jesus is Leaving, with direction by Juan Valenzuela, Lewlulu and The Livingroom. He also staged additional plays with the group, such as Appearing Tonight in Person: Your Mother at La Mama, E.T.C. in 1978, The S.F. Machine and the radio drama Dead Heroes Have No Feelings, among others. Even with the loss of Willie Pietri in 1982, the Latin Insomniacs continued to organize poetry readings and performances, and remained vibrant contributors to an alternative Puerto Rican/Nuyorican artistic and literary practice.

Throughout the 1980s, Pietri was extraordinarily productive, continuing to write and stage his plays and to invent creative ways to both popularize his poetry and communicate his artistic and critical viewpoint. As a member of the New Dramatists from 1982 to 1990, a theater organization dedicated to cultivation of new and innovative playwrights, Pietri was provided with a forum within which to push the boundaries of his own expansive thinking, as well as critical intellectual and financial support for the development of his distinctive use of language and plot structure. Among the plays written in this time were The Kid with the Big Head (1981), No More Bingo at the Wake (1981), The Masses are Asses (which was staged by the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre in 1983 and starred Raúl Julia), I Dare You to Resist Me and Eat Rocks!, a reading of which was held at the New Dramatists in 1985. He also re-staged Lewlulu, with direction by José Ferrer, in 1980 at INTAR and performed "Rent-A-Coffin" at Joseph Papp's Public Theatre as part of the Festival Latino in 1985 and at the New Rican Village in 1986. Pietri's playwriting efforts were recognized in 1981 with a third grant from the Creative Artists Public Service program.

Starting in 1980, he also published a series of compilations of his work. Besides Uptown Train, which contained a series of similarly titled poems where he experimented with variations in textual content, he also produced an essay entitled Lost in the Museum of Natural History (1981), which was published as Perdido en el Museo de Historia Natural by Ediciones Huracán in Puerto Rico. He published his second book of poetry, Traffic Violations in 1983 and the text of his play The Masses are Asses in 1984, both with Kal Wagenheim's Waterfront Press. In the late 1980s, with the AIDS crisis in full swing, Pietri intensified his advocacy for the use of condoms. Pietri noted in an interview that he had been promoting condom use since 1977. Taking poems from his "Telephone Booth" series, written throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Pietri clipped, glued and sometimes typed poems onto small envelopes in which he placed a condom which he would then sell to the general public.

Infamous for standing around with a cross with condoms nailed to it and/or with signs reading "Safe Sex Saves Not Jesus Saves" and "Poems & Condoms for Sale, One Size Fits All," Pietri's condom distribution became a regular fixture on the New York landscape, an image of which even resulted in a postcard for tourists, and demonstrated the creativity and humor with which he approached even this most dire of pandemics. In 1985, Pietri and Bob Holman started organizing a series of readings billed as The Double Talk Show, "the only late night TV talk show for poets (not on TV)," at the Nuyorican Poets Café that mixed poetry with music and performance. A couple of years later, in 1987, Pietri's play The After After Hours was staged at the Trocadero in downtown Manhattan. In 1988 and 1989, respectively, he staged dramatizations of "Puerto Rican Obituary" in the Taino Theatre at Touro College and at Joseph Papp's Public Theatre, and in 1988, he participated in La Primera Conferencia de Poetas y Escritores Puertorriqueños at City College (CUNY). From 1985-1987 Pietri served on the Board of the Poetry Society of America.

The year 1989 was an eventful one for Pietri. Not only was his play The Masses are Asses translated into Spanish (as Las masas son crasas) by Alfredo Matilla Rivas and performed at the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña’s Teatro del Patio by Teatro Bohío Puertorriqueño, but he also co-organized, with fellow poet Bob Holman, a series of poetry readings called "Poets in the Bars: A Celebration of the Oral Tradition." Funded by the arts organization Creative Time and involving poets Allen Ginsberg, Amiri and Amina Baraka, Kimiko Hahn, Jayne Cortez, Ntozake Shange, Jessica Hagedorn and others, this series of readings brought together groups of poets to read and perform in bars that in the past had been focal points of literary and artistic activity. Among the bars chosen were the Cedar Tavern, the Village Gate, the Lincoln Cocktail Lounge and the After Five. Considered largely successful, this series of readings sought to reach out to non-traditional audiences, specifically those who had been under-exposed to poetry, in a gesture designed to re-popularize verse.

As professionally successful as this period was for Pietri, his personal life suffered in the early part of the decade. In addition to the death of Willie Pietri in 1982, Pietri's brother Frank passed away in 1986, and Pietri's marriage to his first wife Nancy Phyllis Wallach ended, with Wallach leaving New York with their daughter Diana to return to her family home in Pittsburgh. Pietri would never fully get over the "loss" of his first daughter, with whom he was never able to establish a close relationship, and continued to write letters and poetry dedicated to her lamenting her absence for the rest of his life. Continuously haunted by the specters of the Vietnam War and the consequences of his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Pietri found himself hard-pressed to maintain a stable personal life and, although relatively successful as a writer, to provide a consistent income. Prone to "self-medication," he could be unpredictable, which, though in keeping with his image as a playful, irreverent and Dada-esque figure, also made him at times unreliable and difficult to relate to. Things in the latter part of the decade began to look up with the start of his relationship with Stephanie Jo Smith and the birth of his second daughter Evava, but this relationship too would end due much in part to his ongoing financial and psychological instability.

Throughout his career, Pietri read and presented his work at numerous spaces in New York and Puerto Rico, in what are now considered iconic and cutting edge Puerto Rican and "downtown" institutions. Among these are the Nuyorican Poets Café, New Rican Village and El Museo del Barrio, as well as the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Taller Latino Americano, the Gas Station, ABC No Rio and The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church. He also performed at the University of Puerto Rico, the New Dramatists and at various schools and community spaces throughout New York. Pietri was also in high demand abroad and established a particularly close relationship with Italian admirers of his work, not only by holding readings in Italy, but also through the publication of several translations of his work, including the infamous "Puerto Rican Obituary." Pietri's work was also heavily anthologized and appeared in both Puerto Rican/Latino specific texts and those comprised of overviews of avant-garde and experimental poets. The former include The Puerto Rican Poets (1972), Boriquen: Anthology of Puerto Rican Literature (1974), Umbra: Latin/Soul Anthology (1974) and Inventing a Word: An Anthology of Twentieth-Century Puerto Rican Poetry (1980), and among the latter are Text-Sound Texts (1980), edited by Richard Kostelanetz, New York: Poems (1980) and The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry (1999). All told Pietri's work appears in well over 20 anthologies and has been translated into several languages, including Spanish, Italian and German.

Officially ordained as a Reverend by the Ministry of Salvation in 1987, Pietri inaugurated his Church of the Mother of Tomatoes (La Iglesia de la Madre de Los Tomates) in the early 1990s as a roving performing ministry, taking inspiration from the Protestant ministers of his youth and preaching to the "poetry-deprived." Already establishing a ministerial role for himself in his AIDS advocacy work, preaching condom use and not religion with slogans such as "Safe Sex is Salvation," Pietri’s "church" acted as a vehicle for his continued advocacy of absurdist and comedy inflected experiments with form, language and performance, as well as a platform for his work with prison inmates and the mentally ill. That same year, he collaborated with Adal Maldonado on the performance piece Mambo Montage which featured music by and starred the musician Tito Puente. In 1992, Pietri published his collection of plays, Illusions of a Revolving Door. On the 20th anniversary of the publication of his first book of poetry, Puerto Rican Obituary (1973), Pietri re-staged and performed in a dramatization of the title poem along with the New Rican Village Alumni Band. In addition that year, he presented his "El Spanglish National Anthem" at the Nuyorican Poets Café and published his first anthology of poetry in Italian, Scarafaggi metropolitani e altre poesie.

In 1994, Pietri and Maldonado inaugurated their project, El Puerto Rican Embassy. Originally conceived by Pietri and Eduardo Figueroa (founder of New Rican Village), the group was created to represent "a new generation of experimental Puerto Rican artists working on the margins of established art movements" (Maldonado, 1993) who sought to question and challenge contemporary political issues and cultural aesthetics. The Embassy's inaugural was appropriately organized as a multi-media exhibition at the Kenkeleba Gallery on East Second Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side (Loisaida). The exhibition included art work by such well known figures as Papo Colo, Marcos Dimas, Pepón Osorio, Antonio Martorell and Nitza Tufiño, poetry by Sandra María Estéves, Tato Laviera and Jesús Papoleto Meléndez and music by Louis Bauzo & Carambú and the Juan Ma Trio. Among the individuals honored and given the title of Ambassadors to the Embassy were Miguel Algarín (Poetry), Miriam Colón (Theatre), Willie Colón (Music), Raúl Julia (Film) and Piri Thomas (Letters). Created especially for the occasion was a passport from the Embassy and "El Spirit Republic de Puerto Rico," granting Puerto Rican citizenship to the island's many diasporic subjects.

El Puerto Rican Embassy went on to conceive of and sponsor many other exhibitions and projects, such as Maldonado's photography series "Out of Focus Nuyoricans," all seeking to re-inscribe the Puerto Rican presence back into national cultural and political narratives and to engender a critical dialogue about the state of Puerto Rico and its people under U.S. governance. El Puerto Rican Embassy continued to be an active site of collaboration for Pietri until the end of his life and provided him with yet another vehicle for the dissemination and development of his unique, critical and humor-filled style of performance and poetic production. In April 1994, Pietri also legally married his partner and collaborator of several years, Margarita Deida; they had been united in an informal ceremony almost two years prior. Their son, Speedo Juan, was born the following year, being raised alongside Deida's daughter and Pietri's step-daughter, Carina Luna López.

In the following decade, Pietri continued to be professionally active. Now an elder statesman of the Nuyorican and downtown poetry scenes, he was often called upon to read and present his poetry performances to audiences both in New York and abroad. These included an appearance on the PBS series United States of Poetry (1996), the Venezia-Poesia festival in Venice, Italy (1997), in tributes for the poet and painter Jack Micheline and the poet Allen Ginsberg (1998), at the Words and Voices Festival for Experimental Literature and Music in Heidelberg, Germany (1998), as well as continued appearances at the Nuyorican Poets Café and Taller Latino Americano. Pietri also briefly collaborated with musician Paul Simon on the writing of the book to The Capeman, the story of Salvador Agrón starring singers Ruben Blades and Marc Anthony. He continued to write and stage readings of his own plays, such as El Cabrón, and edited an anthology of poetry with his longtime collaborator Jesús Papoleto Meléndez titled Political Love Poems, which included writers as diverse as Jessica Hagedorn, Che Meléndez, Quincy Troupe, Rosario Ferré, June Jordan, Lolita Lebrón and Victor Hernández Cruz. Starting in 1996, again with Meléndez, Pietri edited the Los Panfleteros Poetry Series, which acted as vehicle for the self-publication and distribution of their poetry and essays. In 2001, Pietri published a second anthology of poems in Italy. Titled Out of Order=Fuori servizio, the book was a bilingual (English/Italian) compilation of his "Telephone Booth" poetry series.

Pietri, who in the past had been frequently sought after by colleagues and aspiring writers for his input on their writing, now found a newer generation of poets and writers who saw him as the prototype for their own experimentations with language, form and content, consulting with him and sending him their manuscripts. Just as Pietri had admired and emulated the poetic style and rantings of Jorge Brandon, up-and-coming writers viewed the seminal performances and writings of Pietri and the rest of the Nuyorican Poets as models for not only pushing formalist boundaries but also for the negotiation and expression of multiple cultural and literary influences. Indeed, Algarín and the Nuyorican Poets Café were among the first to nurture the burgeoning Slam Poetry movement and continued to provide a forum for experimentation from their home base on the Lower East Side.

Pedro Juan Pietri died on March 3, 2004 at the age of 59 from stomach cancer while en route to New York from Mexico, where he had received alternative treatment therapies. His illness deemed terminal by Western doctors, Pietri had sought a more holistic resolution to his cancer outside the U.S., a move that was supported both financially and emotionally by his community of friends, family, writers and poets. A mercurial figure of great talent, Pietri left an indelible mark on Puerto Rican and American letters and helped chart a strikingly original and vibrant course for this first generation of Puerto Rican writers raised on a post-WW II diet of doo-wop, décimas and New York street savvy. Children of both Puerto Rico and New York, the products of syncretism, Pietri and his generation traversed a cultural landscape fraught with questions of belonging, racial tension, class strife and nationalist allegiances, ultimately mapping a course that sought to affirm the hybrid mixture of Puerto Rican and North American influences. Doggedly critical, Pietri employed humor and a playful irrationality to point a viewfinder at politics, culture, and human relationships and behavior, forcing us to look at ourselves in the full regalia of our own absurdity and inviting us to joyfully reconsider the stability of our own identities.

Scope and Content Note

The Papers of Pedro Pietri help chronicle the extraordinarily creative, productive and, at times, anarchic life of one of the most original and innovative contemporary writers of the Puerto Rican community. In addition, they lend insight into the vast scope of Pietri's literary interests and endeavors, his collaborative relationships with other writers and his editorial process.

A dynamic and multifaceted collection, highlights of the papers include extensive original writings, annotated drafts of already published works and original artwork. Moreover, the collection boasts a large array of handmade artifacts and an impressive assortment of posters and publications documenting artistic activity in New York over the last three decades.

The materials in this collection span the years from 1939 to 2004 with the bulk concentrating on the years 1970 to 2002. They consist of correspondence, memoranda, photographs, flyers, clippings, poetry, plays, essays, scripts, awards, posters, programs, videotapes, audiocassettes, artwork and artifacts. The materials are in both Spanish and English.

Related Information

Other finding aids

A Spanish version of this finding aid is available.

Use of Records

Access Restrictions

Access to unpublished and/or un-copyrighted materials available by request from authorized archival staff only. Photocopies of these materials are not permitted. Publication requires permission of the literary executor, Margarita Deida Pietri, formal requests to which can be made through the Senior Archivist. Other restrictions apply; researchers should consult collection container list for further details.

Use Restrictions

For all materials related to Pedro Juan Pietri, Margarita Deida Pietri is the sole copyright holder. The Archives has no information on the status of literary rights for any additional authors included in the collection; researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright for these items.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

The Pedro Pietri Papers, Archives of the Puerto Rican Diaspora, Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, Hunter College, CUNY.

Processing Information

Processed by Mario H. Ramírez with the assistance of Melisa Panchano, Silvia Rodríguez, Erika Suárez and Orlando Torres, April 2007.

Books transferred to Library Special Collections.

Acquisition Information

Custody granted by Margarita Deida Pietri.

Access Terms

Personal Name(s):

Pietri, Pedro, 1944-2004

Pietri, William (Willie)

Pietri, Carmen

Buffington, William Henry (B. H. Williams)

Algarín, Miguel

Silén, Iván

Baraka, Amina

Cruz, Victor Hernández, 1949-

Matilla Rivas, Alfredo

Kostelanetz, Richard

Feliciano, Brenda

Deida Pietri, Margarita

Joans, Ted

Julia, Raúl

Shange, Ntozake

Jordan, June, 1936-2002

Ferrer, José

Figueroa, Jose-Angel, 1946-

Mercado, Nancy, 1959-

Smith Pietri, Evava

Esteves, Sandra Maria, 1948-

De La Luz, Caridad (La Bruja)

Pietri, Francisco (Frank)

Pietri, José (Joe)

Baraka, Imamu Amiri, 1934-

Wallach, Nancy Phyllis

Henderson, David, 1942-

Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997

Agrón, Salvador

Meléndez, Jesús Papoleto

Rivas, Bittman John (Bimbo)

Coll, Yvonne

Pietri, Speedo Juan

Luperza Oppenheimer, Isabel

López, Carina Luna

Maldonado, Adál Alberto

Dávila, Angelamaría, 1944-

Taméz, Martha Margarita

Figueroa, Eduardo

Valenzuela, Juan

Cienfuegos, Lucky

Papp, Joseph

Holman, Bob, 1948-

Pietri, Diana Mercedes

Smith, Stephanie Jo

Matos Paoli, Francisco

Fernández, María Teresa (Mariposa)

Escobar, Elizam, 1948-

Corporate Name(s):

Poetry Society of America

Latino TV Broadcasting Service, Inc.

Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre

Nuyorican Poets Café

New Rican Village (New York, N.Y.)

Welfare Poets

ABC No Rio (New York, N.Y.)

St. Mark's Church In-the-Bowery (New York, N.Y.). Poetry Project

H.B. Playwrights Foundation, Inc.

New Dramatists, Inc.

Afrikan Poetry Theatre (Jamaica, N.Y.)

Latin Insomniacs Motorcycle Club (Without Motorcycles), Inc.

Black Theatre Alliance

Gas Station (Organization)

Creative Time, Inc.

Poets & Writers, Inc.

INTAR (Theatrical company : New York, N.Y.)

El Puerto Rican Embassy

Poets Opposing War

Veterans Ensemble Theater Company

Teachers and Writers Collaborative, Inc.

El Museo del Barrio (New York, N.Y.)

Subject(s):

Hispanic American theater

Arts--New York (State)--New York

Playwrights, Puerto Rican--20th century--Works

Theater--New York (State)--New York

Poetry--New York (State)--New York

Puerto Rican poetry--20th century

Literature, Experimental

Authors, Puerto Rican--20th century--Works

American poetry--Hispanic American authors

Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Veterans--United States

Hispanic Americans--New York (State)--New York

Puerto Ricans--New York (State)--New York

Avant-garde (Aesthetics)

Puerto Rican drama--20th century

Arts and Culture

Genre(s):

Correspondence

Videotapes

Publications

Photographs

Audiocassettes

Posters

Clippings

Memorandums

Artifacts

Works of art

Writings

Flyers

Detailed Description

Note: These records are held by the Archives of the Puerto Rican Diaspora, Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, Hunter College, CUNY

Series I: Biographical and Personal Information
Dates: 1939-2003
Scope and Content Note:

This series briefly documents Pietri's personal history through the presence of biographies, family related documents, resumes and certificates and diplomas. Here researchers can retrieve hints of Pietri's early years in New York as well as gain further information on his publications, plays written and numerous other professional and artistic endeavors.



Dates Contents Box Folder
undated, 1979-2001 Biographies 1 1
1939, 1957, 1981-1999 Certificates and Diplomas 1 2
undated, 1940-1941, 1976-1977 Family Documents 1 3
undated, 1969-1996 Financial 1 4
undated, 1973-2002 General 1 5
undated Holy Sacrifice of the Mass 1 6
undated, 1954-1980, 2003 Medical Records 1 7
undated Resumes 1 8


Series II: Correspondence
Dates: 1947-2003
Scope and Content Note:

The correspondence and memoranda that constitute this series encompass both Pietri's personal and professional relationships, and provide evidence of the evolution of his career as well as his friendships and acquaintanceships with many noted figures in the New York and Puerto Rican arts communities. Among his correspondents are the writers José Angel Figueroa, Víctor Hernández Cruz, June Jordan, Jesús Papoleto Meléndez, Sandra María Estéves and Amiri Baraka, actor José Ferrer and organizations such as The Poetry Project at Saint Mark's Church and New Rican Village. The series also contains a brief letter dated January 7, 1947 from Congressman Vito Marcantonio to Pietri's father, Francisco Pietri, noting his intervention on the Pietri family's behalf with the Manhattan State Hospital and his desire for the swift recovery of Pietri's mother, Petra.



Dates Contents Box Folder
undated Correspondence 1 9
undated Correspondence 1 10
undated Correspondence 1 11
undated, 1947, 1963-1983 Correspondence 2 1
undated, 1947, 1963-1983 Correspondence 2 2
undated, 1947, 1963-1983 Correspondence 2 3
undated, 1947, 1963-1983 Correspondence 2 4
undated, 1947, 1963-1983 Correspondence 2 5
undated, 1947, 1963-1983 Correspondence 2 6
undated, 1947, 1963-1983 Correspondence 2 7
undated, 1947, 1963-1983 Correspondence 2 8
1984-1995 Correspondence 3 1
1984-1995 Correspondence 3 2
1984-1995 Correspondence 3 3
1984-1995 Correspondence 3 4
1984-1995 Correspondence 3 5
1984-1995 Correspondence 3 6
1996-2003 Correspondence 4 1
1996-2003 Correspondence 4 2
undated, 1991-2000 Correspondence, Deida Pietri, Margarita (restricted) 4 3
undated, 1981 Correspondence, Leekin, Kim (restricted) 4 4
undated, 1981 Correspondence, Leekin, Kim (restricted) 4 5
undated, 1981 Correspondence, Leekin, Kim (restricted) 4 6
undated, 1987-2003 Correspondence, Támez, Martha Margarita (restricted) 4 7
undated, 1973-2001 Memoranda 5 1


Series III: Works by Pietri
Dates: 1960-2003
Scope and Content Note:

Although primarily known for his poetry, Pietri was a prolific writer who wrote with great facility in multiple genres, writing for television, film, theater and even co-authoring a children's book. At the heart of the collection, this series is divided into five sub-series (Poetry, Plays and Other Performance Works, Film/Television Scripts and Treatments, Essays and Other Writings and Notebooks) that account for these varied and highly creative endeavors, and chronicle the full breadth of Pietri's capacities as a writer and collaborator.

Series III: Subseries 1. Poetry
Dates: 1960-2001
Scope and Content Note:

Representing what could be considered the core of Pietri's literary output, this sub-series is an indispensable resource of original works, many in handwritten form, and of annotated drafts of published works, that allow researchers to track Pietri's process as a writer and the editorial evolution of his poetry. Besides more well known poems such as "Puerto Rican Obituary," "Rent-A-Coffin" and "Suicide Note from a Cockroach in a Low Income Housing Project," contained also are drafts of pieces such as "New World Odor" and "Get the Fuck Out of Vieques," both of which were published as part of the Los Panfleteros Poetry Series, as well as unpublished manuscripts such as "Love Poems to My Surrealist Gypsy." The sub-series also includes numerous and previously unpublished poetic efforts that were a product of Pietri's prolific "scribbling," many of which never made it beyond preliminary stages of writing and which help further illuminate his themes, concerns and intellectual reach. Spontaneous in their production, these "scribblings" are found on an assortment of media, such as paper plates, manila envelopes and napkins, as well as on paper.



Dates Contents Box Folder
1966-1967 13 Seconds 5 2
undated Aca Cape Umbrlla 5 3
undated Acapela Cape Umbrella 5 4
undated Acapela Cape Umbrella 5 5
undated, 1985 "After the …Drink," 5 6
undated, 1999 After Effects of Miami Whammy and Other Post-Managua Nicaragua 5 7
undated Also Known as Don Pedro 5 8
undated, 1999 Amor de mi muerte 5 9
undated Assorted Poetry, Handwritten (restricted) 5 10
undated Assorted Poetry, Handwritten (restricted) 6 1
undated Assorted Poetry, Handwritten (restricted) 6 2
undated Assorted Poetry, Handwritten (restricted) 6 3
undated Assorted Poetry, Handwritten (restricted) 6 4
undated Assorted Poetry, Handwritten (restricted) 6 5
undated Assorted Poetry, Handwritten (restricted) 7 1
undated Assorted Poetry, Handwritten (restricted) 7 2
undated Assorted Poetry, Handwritten (restricted) 7 3
undated Assorted Poetry, Handwritten (restricted) 7 4
undated Assorted Poetry, Handwritten (restricted) 7 5
undated Assorted Poetry, Handwritten (restricted) 8 1
undated Assorted Poetry, Handwritten (restricted) 8 2
undated Assorted Poetry, Handwritten (restricted) 8 3
undated Assorted Poetry, Handwritten (restricted) 8 4
undated, 1984-1988 Assorted Poetry, Handwritten and Titled (restricted) 8 5
undated, 1978-1986 Assorted Poetry, Handwritten and Titled (restricted) 9 1
undated Assorted Poetry, Manila Folders and Envelopes (restricted) 9 2
undated Assorted Poetry, Manila Folders and Envelopes (restricted) 9 3
undated Assorted Poetry, Manila Folders and Envelopes (restricted) 9 4
undated Assorted Poetry, Manila Folders and Envelopes (restricted) 9 5
undated Assorted Poetry, Napkins (restricted) 9 6
undated Assorted Poetry, Paper Plates (restricted) 10 1
undated Assorted Poetry, Typed (restricted) 10 2
undated Assorted Poetry, Typed (restricted) 10 3
undated Assorted Poetry, Typed (restricted) 10 4
undated Assorted Poetry, Typed (restricted) 10 5
undated Assorted Poetry, Typed (restricted) 10 6
undated Assorted Poetry, Typed (restricted) 11 1
undated Assorted Poetry, Typed (restricted) 11 2
undated Assorted Poetry, Typed (restricted) 11 3
undated Assorted Poetry, Typed (restricted) 11 4
undated Assorted Poetry, Typed (restricted) 11 5
undated Assorted Poetry, Typed (restricted) 11 6
undated, 1971-1997 Assorted Poetry, Typed (restricted) 12 1
undated, 1971-1997 Assorted Poetry, Typed (restricted) 12 2
undated, 1971-1997 Assorted Poetry, Typed (restricted) 12 3
undated, 1975-1985 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 12 4
undated, 1975-1985 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 12 5
undated, 1975-1985 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 12 6
undated, 1973-1983 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 13 1
undated, 1973-1983 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 13 2
undated, 1973-1983 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 13 3
undated, 1973-1983 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 13 4
undated, 1973-1983 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 13 5
undated, 1973-1983 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 13 6
undated, 1967-1989 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 14 1
undated, 1967-1989 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 14 2
undated, 1967-1989 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 14 3
undated, 1967-1989 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 14 4
undated, 1967-1989 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 14 5
undated, 1967-1989 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 14 6
undated, 1967-1989 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 14 7
undated, 1973-1995 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 15 1
undated, 1973-1995 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 15 2
undated, 1973-1995 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 15 3
undated, 1973-1995 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 15 4
undated, 1973-1995 Assorted Poetry, Typed and Titled (restricted) 15 5
undated Camp Mount Kaki 15 6
undated Cape Acapela 15 7
1974-1985 CAPS Grant Poetry 15 8
1987 Carta a Martha Margarita 16 1
1960-1975 A Collage of Pedro J. Pietri's Poems 16 2
undated The Confession of a Transistor Radio 16 3
undated Content Pages 16 4
undated Day of the Secret Dead 16 5
undated Decade Without Art 16 6
undated El Party Continues 16 7
undated El Party Continues 16 8
undated A Few Words from the Disabled Vending Machine 16 9
undated The First and Last Poems of January 1st, 1980 16 10
undated, 1985-1988 First Puerto Ricans on the Moon 16 11
undated Free Grass for the Working Class 17 1
undated, 2001 Get the Fuck Out of Vieques 17 2
undated I Never Promised You a Cheeseburger 17 3
undated I Never Promised You a Cheeseburger 17 4
undated I Only Want You for a Widow 17 5
undated If You Can Sleep, You Are Heartless: Drafts 17 6
undated If You Can Sleep, You Are Heartless: Drafts 17 7
undated If You Can Sleep, You Are Heartless: Drafts 17 8
undated If You Can Sleep, You Are Heartless: Fragments 17 9
undated If You Can Sleep, You Are Heartless: Fragments 18 1
1978 In the Stomach of the Many, In the Minds of a Few or How to Lose Weight by Over-Eating 18 2
undated Introduction for the Grand Opening of Umbrellas 18 3
undated Introduction to Margarita 18 4
undated, 1984 Is There Life After Joint Custody? 18 5
undated The Last Game of the World Series 18 6
undated A Long Distance Poem to be Read in 3 Voices 18 7
undated Look Out for the Incinerators 18 8
undated Love Poems to My Surrealist Gypsy 18 9
undated Love Poems to My Surrealist Gypsy 18 10
undated, 1985-1988 Memories of Alphabetical Disorder 19 1
1987-1988 Miedo de la luz del día 19 2
undated Munchies 19 3
undated My Dick is Bigger than Your Dick 19 4
undated No Passengers 19 5
undated Out of Order: Drafts 19 6
undated Out of Order: Drafts 19 7
undated Out of Order: Drafts 19 8
undated Out of Order: Drafts 19 9
undated Out of Order: Fragments 20 1
undated Out of Order: Fragments 20 2
undated Platonic Fucking for the 90s 20 3
undated Poemas de amor y masturbación 20 4
undated, 1977-1985 Poems Written at the Holland Bar 20 5
undated Prologue for Ode to Road Runner 20 6
1986, 1997 PuertoPowRicanWow Poem 20 7
undated, 1968-1977 Puerto Rican Obituary: Drafts and Fragments 20 8
undated, 1974-1984 Puerto Rican Obituary: General 20 9
undated Puerto Rican Obituary: Spanish Translation 20 10
undated, 1973-1995 Puerto Rican Obituary: Reviews 20 11
undated Rent-A-Coffin 20 12
undated The Return of the Double Decker Buses 20 13
undated The Rise and Fall of the Avon Lady 21 1
undated Round About Midnight 21 2
undated RPM 21 3
undated Smokin Ocean 21 4
undated Subliminal Indecision in No Color 21 5
undated Subliminal Indecision in No Color 21 6
undated Suicide Note from a Cockroach in a Low Income Housing Project 21 7
undated El Talking Coco Keeps Talking, El Coco Que Habla Keeps Talking, Off Limits to Talking Coco 21 8
undated Telephone Booth Poems: -597 – 37 21 9
undated Telephone Booth Poems: 38 – 99 21 10
undated Telephone Booth Poems: 100 – 199 21 11
undated Telephone Booth Poems: 200 – 299 21 12
undated Telephone Booth Poems: 300 – 399 22 1
undated Telephone Booth Poems: 400 – 499 22 2
undated Telephone Booth Poems: 500 – 699 22 3
undated Telephone Booth Poems: 700 – 899 22 4
undated Telephone Booth Poems: 900 – 999 22 5
undated Telephone Booth Poems: 1000 – Larger Numbers 22 6
undated Telephone Booth Poems: Drafts 22 7
undated Traffic Violations: Drafts 22 8
1983 Traffic Violations: Manuscript 23 1
undated, 1977 Uptown Train 23 2
undated Where is Dada? 23 3
undated Wine & Dine in Palestine 23 4
undated Women Who Lied About Loving Me 23 5
undated Invisible Poetry (cover page on aluminum sheet) OS 1 1
undated Last Heard Words OS 1 2
1986 Poem for a Missing Friend OS 1 3
undated Poems and Condoms 4 Sale OS 1 4
undated Poems and Condoms 4 Sale OS 1 5
undated Poems and Condoms 4 Sale OS 1 6
undated Poems and Condoms 4 Sale OS 1 7
undated Poems and Condoms 4 Sale OS 1 8
undated Prayer OS 1 9
1978 Puerto Rican Obituary OS 1 10
1986 PuertoPowRicanWow Poem OS 1 11
circa 1980s Telephone Booth Number 319 OS 1 12
undated Telephone Booth Poems OS 1 13
undated To Be Announced Later OS 1 14
undated Untitled Poetry: On Curtain Rod Cardboard Wrapping (restricted) OS 1 15
1972 Untitled Poetry: On Back of Issue of Hispanic Arts magazine (restricted) OS 1 16
undated Untitled Poetry: On Manila Envelope (restricted) OS 1 17
undated Untitled Poetry: On Manila Envelope (restricted) OS 1 18
undated Untitled Poetry: On Manila Envelope (restricted) OS 1 19
undated Untitled Poetry: On Manila Envelope (restricted) OS 1 20
undated Untitled Poetry: On Napkin (restricted) OS 1 21
undated Untitled Poetry: On Priority Mail Cardboard Envelope (restricted) OS 1 22
undated Untitled Poetry: On Priority Mail Envelope (restricted) OS 1 23
undated Untitled Poetry: On White Box Top (restricted) OS 1 24
undated Untitled Poetry: On White Box Top (restricted) OS 1 25
undated Untitled Poetry: Viejo San Juan in Spanglish OS 1 26


Series III: Subseries 2. Plays and Other Performance Works
Dates: 1975-2001
Scope and Content Note:

Produced by such recognized entities as the Latino/Latin American theater group INTAR: Hispanic American Theater and directed by individuals like the actor José Ferrer, Pietri's plays, often willfully absurdist in style and perspective, entertained with their comical send ups of politics and human relationships, and were deeply informed by his insights into Puerto Rican culture and everyday life. Contained here are various drafts of plays such as The Masses are Asses, Lewlulu, Jesus is Leaving and a stage adaptation of the poem "Puerto Rican Obituary." Included as well in this sub-series are the texts of multimedia performance pieces that combined poetry, music and spoken word. Among these are The Spanglish National Anthem and Seven Roosters and Three Drunken Poets, the latter of which was a collaboration between Pietri, Jesús Papoleto Meléndez and Pietri's brother, Dr. Willie Pietri. Researchers can also find drafts of the radio drama Dead Heroes Have No Feelings and rough drafts of plays never performed and/or published, as well as several play treatments.



Dates Contents Box Folder
undated The ~~~ : A Serious Half Act Play 23 6
undated Act One and Only: Drafts 23 7
undated Act One and Only: Drafts 23 8
undated, 2001 Act One and Only: Fragments 23 9
2000-2001 Act One and Only: Spanish Version 23 10
undated The After After Hours: Drafts 23 11
undated The After After Hours: Drafts 23 12
undated The After After Hours: Fragments 24 1
undated Alicia in Project Land 24 2
undated Apartment 4Q: A Pornographic Film for the Entire Family 24 3
undated Appearing in Person Tonight: Your Mother 24 4
undated Appearing in Person Tonight: Your Mother 24 5
undated Baudelaire at Jones Beach 24 6
undated El cabrón 24 7
undated Cocktales (Tales from the Cock) 24 8
undated Come in We're Closed 24 9
undated Come in We're Closed 24 10
undated The Customer is Always Wrong 25 1
undated Dead Heroes Have No Feelings: Draft 25 2
undated Dead Heroes Have No Feelings: Fragments 25 3
undated Don’t Let The Soup Get Cold 25 4
undated Eat Rocks!: Drafts 25 5
undated Eat Rocks!: Drafts 25 6
undated Eat Rocks!: Drafts 25 7
undated Eat Rocks!: Drafts 25 8
undated, circa 1987 Eat Rocks!: Drafts 26 1
undated, circa 1987 Eat Rocks!: Drafts 26 2
undated, circa 1987 Eat Rocks!: Drafts 26 3
undated, circa 1987 Eat Rocks!: Drafts 26 4
undated, circa 1987 Eat Rocks!: Drafts 26 5
undated, 1985 Eat Rocks!: Fragments 26 6
undated, 1985 Eat Rocks!: Fragments 26 7
1980 Eat Rocks!: Notes 26 8
undated The Exciting Love Life of Samm Hamm 27 1
undated Famous Factory Workers 27 2
undated Felix the Rat and You Will be Forgot 27 3
undated, 1984-1992 General Fragments 27 4
undated, 1984-1992 General Fragments 27 5
undated, 1984-1992 General Fragments 27 6
undated, 1984-1992 General Fragments 27 7
undated Getting the Message Across: Drafts 27 8
undated Getting the Message Across: Drafts 27 9
undated, 1984 Getting the Message Across: Fragments 28 1
undated, 1984 Getting the Message Across: Fragments 28 2
undated Happy Birthday M.F. 28 3
undated Happy Birthday M.F. 28 4
undated How Tender is Brenda 28 5
undated I Dare You to Resist Me: Drafts 28 6
undated I Dare You to Resist Me: Drafts 28 7
undated I Dare You to Resist Me: Drafts 29 1
undated I Dare You to Resist Me: Drafts 29 2
undated I Dare You to Resist Me: Drafts 29 3
undated I Dare You to Resist Me: Drafts 29 4
undated I Dare You to Resist Me: Drafts 29 5
undated I Dare You to Resist Me: Drafts 29 6
undated I Dare You to Resist Me: Drafts 30 1
undated, 1982-1987 I Dare You to Resist Me: Fragments 30 2
undated, 1982-1987 I Dare You to Resist Me: Fragments 30 3
undated, 1982-1987 I Dare You to Resist Me: Fragments 30 4
undated Illusions of a Revolving Door 30 5
undated Jesus is Leaving: Drafts 30 6
undated Jesus is Leaving: Fragments 30 7
undated, 1977-1979 Jesus is Leaving: General 30 8
undated The Kid with the Big Head 30 9
undated A Lady is Heard Screaming 30 10
undated Last Call for Alcohol 30 11
undated Last Game of the World Series 30 12
undated Last Request 31 1
undated Lewlulu: Drafts and Fragments 31 2
undated, 1980-1981 Lewlulu: General 31 3
undated Lewlulu: Manuscripts 31 4
undated The Living Room: Drafts 31 5
undated The Living Room: Drafts 31 6
undated The Living Room: Drafts 31 7
undated The Living Room: Drafts 31 8
undated The Living Room: Drafts 32 1
undated The Living Room: Drafts 32 2
undated The Living Room: Drafts 32 3
undated The Living Room: Drafts 32 4
undated The Living Room: Drafts 32 5
undated The Living Room: Drafts 32 6
1976 The Living Room: Drafts 33 1
undated The Living Room: Fragments 33 2
undated The Living Room: Fragments 33 3
undated, 1981, 1999 The Living Room: General 33 4
undated Ma Mar's 33 5
undated Mambo Rap Sodi Monologue 33 6
undated The Masses are Asses: Drafts 33 7
undated The Masses are Asses: Drafts 33 8
undated The Masses are Asses: Drafts 33 9
undated The Masses are Asses: Drafts 34 1
undated The Masses are Asses: Fragments 34 2
undated, 1983-1985 The Masses are Asses: General 34 3
undated The Masses are Asses: Proofs 34 4
undated The Masses are Asses: Spanish Version, Las masas son crasas 34 5
undated Mother Fucker 34 6
undated No More Bingo At The Wake: Drafts 34 7
undated No More Bingo At The Wake: Drafts 34 8
undated No More Bingo At The Wake: Drafts 34 9
undated No More Bingo At The Wake: Drafts 34 10
undated No More Bingo At The Wake: Drafts 35 1
undated No More Bingo At The Wake: Fragments and Notes 35 2
undated No Passengers: Drafts 35 3
undated No Passengers: Drafts 35 4
undated, 1987 No Passengers: Fragments 35 5
undated No Yuppies Allowed Sign on McPhenomenas Botanica 35 6
undated, 1980-1988 Puerto Rican Obituary 35 7
undated ¿Qué Paso? (Kay Passo?) 35 8
undated Rest Rooms for Rent 35 9
undated The Return of the Mismatched Socks Salesman! 35 10
undated Saint Michelle 35 11
undated, 1996 Sell the Bell or Go Straight to Hell 36 1
undated, 1996 Sell the Bell or Go Straight to Hell 36 2
undated, 1975 Seven Roosters and Three Drunken Poets: Booklets 36 3
undated Seven Roosters and Three Drunken Poets: Drafts 36 4
undated Seven Roosters and Three Drunken Poets: Drafts 36 5
undated Seven Roosters and Three Drunken Poets: Drafts 36 6
undated Seven Roosters and Three Drunken Poets: Fragments 36 7
undated Seven Roosters and Three Drunken Poets: Fragments 36 8
undated Seven Roosters and Three Drunken Poets: General 36 9
undated The S.F. Machine 36 10
undated Spanglish National Anthem: Alternate Version 37 1
undated Spanglish National Anthem: Drafts 37 2
undated Spanglish National Anthem: Drafts 37 3
undated Spanglish National Anthem: Drafts 37 4
undated Spanglish National Anthem: Fragments 37 5
undated Spanglish National Anthem: Fragments 37 6
undated Spanglish National Anthem: Fragments 37 7
undated Spanglish National Anthem: General 37 8
undated, 2001 In Magazine Folder 38 1
undated A Special Occasion 38 2
undated Stray Bullets 38 3
undated, 1978 Summaries, Notes and Treatments 38 4
undated A Teenager Shoots an Old Lady, The Old Lady Shoots Him Back 38 5
undated The Trial of a Dxxd Man and a Goat 38 6
undated The Trial of a Goat and a Ghost 38 7
undated The Visitor 38 8
undated Visiting Hours Are Over 38 9
undated Visiting Hours Are Over 38 10
undated War is Divine 38 11
undated Warning 38 12
undated What Goes Down Must Come Up: Drafts 38 13
undated What Goes Down Must Come Up: Fragments and Notes 39 1
undated When Johnny Comes 39 2
undated The Wrong Apartment 39 3
undated Untitled 39 4
undated Get the Hell Out of Here OS II 1
undated Spanglish National Anthem OS II 2


Series III: Subseries 3. Film/Television Scripts and Treatments
Dates: 1970-2000
Scope and Content Note:

Besides being an accomplished writer of prose, poetry and plays, Pietri also wrote for film and television. In addition to the various treatments contained, this sub-series also includes drafts of complete scripts. Among the latter are the Pietri authored Chico for Mayor (of Chinatown) and Sneaking Out of the Train, and a collaborative work with Jesús Papoleto Meléndez titled Jack Billy. Of particular note are several scripts and story treatments for a short lived PBS series produced by the Latino TV Broadcasting Service, Inc. titled "Oye Willie." This television series, for which Pietri wrote several story treatments, proposed to chronicle the life of a Puerto Rican boy growing up in East (Spanish) Harlem and to present a more positive portrayal of the community.



Dates Contents Box Folder
undated ¡Bongo Biongo!: A Mambo Rap Sodi 39 5
1993 Casa of Dreams: Second Draft 39 6
undated Casa of Dreams: Summary, Fragments and Incomplete Drafts 39 7
undated Chico for Mayor (of Chinatown): Drafts 39 8
undated Chico for Mayor (of Chinatown): Drafts 39 9
undated Chico for Mayor (of Chinatown): Drafts 39 10
undated Chico for Mayor (of Chinatown): Drafts 39 11
undated, 1999-2000 Chico for Mayor (of Chinatown): Drafts 40 1
undated, 1999-2000 Chico for Mayor (of Chinatown): Drafts 40 2
undated, 1999-2000 Chico for Mayor (of Chinatown): Incomplete Drafts 40 3
undated Chico for Mayor (of Chinatown): Notebook 40 4
undated Coney Island Invaders 40 5
undated A Few Steps Beyond 40 6
undated General 40 7
undated I Only Want You as a Friend 40 8
undated, 1973 Jack Billy: Fragments 40 9
undated Jack Billy: Incomplete Drafts 40 10
1975 Jack Billy: Screenplay 41 1
1975 Jack Billy: Screenplay 41 2
undated Julio's House 41 3
undated Marina 41 4
undated, 1970-1982 Oye Willie: Correspondence 41 5
undated, 1980 Oye Willie: General 41 6
undated, 1980 Shooting Scripts 41 7
undated, 1977 Story Treatments 41 8
undated POPI 41 9
undated Que Cosa 41 10
undated Sneaking Out of the Train, Fragments 41 11
undated Sneaking Out of the Train, Fragments 42 1
undated Sugar is Bitter 42 2


Series III: Subseries 4. Essays and Other Writings
Dates: 1969-2001
Scope and Content Note:

This sub-series is inclusive of essays and short stories by Pietri, as well as drafts of a children's book titled The Little Girl with Make-Believe Hair on which he collaborated with his wife Margarita Deida Pietri. Contained also are drafts of Pietri's "Lost in the Museum of Natural History," which was eventually translated by Alfredo Matilla Rivas, and various script reviews detailing Pietri's critical evaluation of the playwriting skills of others.



Dates Contents Box Folder
undated Dear Mr. Normal Cousin 42 3
undated The First Puerto Ricans on the Moon 42 4
undated General, Handwritten 42 5
undated General, Handwritten 42 6
undated General, Handwritten 42 7
undated General, Typed 42 8
undated General, Typed 42 9
undated General, Typed 42 10
1969-1984 General, Typed 43 1
1969-1984 General, Typed 43 2
undated Jokes: The Rent-A-Coffin 43 3
undated The Little Girl with Make-Believe Hair: Booklet 43 4
undated The Little Girl with Make-Believe Hair: First Draft 43 5
undated The Little Girl with Make-Believe Hair: Second Draft 43 6
undated, 1979-1982 Lost in the Museum of Natural History 43 7
undated Lost Outside the Museum of Natural History 43 8
undated Making Ends Meet 43 9
undated Notepads 43 10
undated, 1981, 2001 Notes 44 1
undated, 1987-1988 Script Reviews 44 2
undated, 1989 Writings for Margarita Deida Pietri 44 3


Series III: Subseries 5. Notebooks
Dates: circa 1960s-2002
Scope and Content Note:

This final sub-series contains a number of notebooks that are helpful in revealing Pietri's thought process and demonstrate a biographical bent that lends insight into some of his personal history and struggles. Moreover, they contain many incipient works, original poetry and plays, and explore the full breadth of Pietri's creativity.



Dates Contents Box Folder
undated Notebooks 44 4
undated Notebooks 44 5
undated Notebooks 44 6
undated Notebooks 44 7
undated Notebooks 44 8
undated Notebooks 45 1
undated Notebooks 45 2
undated Notebooks 45 3
undated Notebooks 45 4
undated Notebooks 45 5
undated Notebooks 45 6
undated Notebooks 46 1
undated Notebooks 46 2
undated Notebooks 46 3
undated Notebooks 46 4
undated Notebooks 46 5
undated Notebooks 46 6
undated, circa 1960s-1979 Notebooks 47 1
undated, circa 1960s-1979 Notebooks 47 2
undated, circa 1960s-1979 Notebooks 47 3
undated, circa 1960s-1979 Notebooks 47 4
undated, circa 1960s-1979 Notebooks 47 5
undated, circa 1960s-1979 Notebooks 47 6
1980-2002 Notebooks 48 1
1980-2002 Notebooks 48 2
1980-2002 Notebooks 48 3
1980-2002 Notebooks 48 4
1980-2002 Notebooks 48 5


Series IV: Works by Others
Dates: 1957-2003
Scope and Content Note:

This series, also divided by genre driven sub-series (Poetry, Plays, Film/Television Scripts and Treatments, and Essays and Other Writings), is populated by the work of colleagues, collaborators and students who often lent their work to Pietri for review and/or feedback. Containing poetry, plays and film/television scripts by such well known writers as Jesús Papoleto Meléndez, José Angel Figueroa, Pedro López Adorno, Nancy Mercado, Amiri Baraka, Juan Valenzuela, Ivan Silén, Ntozake Shange, Sandra María Estéves, Pedro Juan Soto and Angela María (Angelmaria/Anjelamaría) Dávila, this series readily demonstrates the extent of the community of writers surrounding Pietri and points to his intrinsic role in its development and sustenance. Researchers should also take note of the many writings on Pietri in the latter part of the series.

Series IV: Subseries 1. Poetry
Dates: 1957-2003


Dates Contents Box Folder
undated Aguilar-Moreno, Luis, Son de ahí 49 1
1984 Alvarez, Lynne, The Dreaming Man 49 2
undated, 1957-2003 Assorted Poetry 49 3
undated, 1957-2003 Assorted Poetry 49 4
undated, 1957-2003 Assorted Poetry 49 5
undated, 1957-2003 Assorted Poetry 49 6
undated, 1957-2003 Assorted Poetry 49 7
undated, 1971-1988 Buffington III, William Henry (B.H. Williams) 50 1
undated, 1971-1988 Buffington III, William Henry (B.H. Williams) 50 2
undated, 1971-1988 Buffington III, William Henry (B.H. Williams) 50 3
2001-2002 Candelario, Sheila, Instrucciones para perderse en el desierto 50 4
undated Ciemniecki, Jessica, Emotions of a Seventeen Year Old 50 5
1993 Cruz, Marta 50 6
undated Cummings, E.E. 50 7
1978 Davidson, Richard, Moon Over McDougal Street 50 8
undated, 1977-1986 Dávila, Ánjelamaría 50 9
undated, 1977-1981 Figueroa, José Ángel: General 50 10
1978 Figueroa, José Ángel: Noo Jork 50 11
1981 Figueroa, José Ángel: The Visionary Poets 50 12
undated Gaeta, Vicente, Earth, Fire, Water, Air 51 1
1983 Lerner, Eric, Things You Have Walk Away 51 2
1991 López Adorno, Pedro, País llamado cuerpo 51 3
1992-1993 López, Alquelio 51 4
1989 Meléndez, Jesús Papoleto: Concertos on Market Street 51 5
undated, 1974-2001 Meléndez, Jesús Papoleto: General 51 6
1982 Meléndez, Jesús Papoleto: Montage of the Misery 51 7
1977 Mello-Mourão, Gerardo, Elegy to Puerto Rico 51 8
1978-1979 Méndez, Angeluis, Canciones sencillas para una mujer blanca 51 9
undated, 1982-1993 Mercado, Nancy 51 10
undated, 1983 Miller, Shelley 51 11
undated, 1990 Moses, Gavin, The Stretch of a Satisfied Soul 51 12
undated Niarana, Felipe, El milagro 51 13
undated Noel, Tomás Urayoán, The Postponed Picnic 51 14
1994 Ortiz, Marina, Selections from "Sueños Detenidos," "Born to be Red" and "Slave to a Dream" 52 1
circa 1996 Park East High School, Real A.I.D.S Prevention 52 2
undated, 1975-1976, 1982 Pietri, Dr. Willie 52 3
1984-1989 Plotnick, Tamra, The Cow Jumped Over the Rainforest 52 4
1998, 2000 Pollard, Jonathan 52 5
undated, 1976-1990 Rios-Cruz, Denise, The Anthology of Poems and Short Stories 52 6
2001 Rivera, Carlos Manuel 52 7
undated, 1969-1997 Sample Student Poetry and Essays 52 8
1986 Schiff, Harris, Transmission From a Liberated Zone 52 9
undated Sherman, Susan, Freeing the Balance 52 10
undated, 1987 Spofford Juvenile Center Inmates 52 11
undated Star, Belle, Belle Star's Be-Bop Deluxe Rock and Blues Poetry/Can You Dig It Baby 52 12
1992 Summer-Burgos, Rebecca and Utsumi, Dawn 52 13
undated, 1985, 1987 Támez, Martha Margarita, Hay luna llena 52 14
2001 Unknown, Mesica 53 1
undated, 1979 Urista, Alberto, Spick in Glyph? (1976-1979) 53 2
undated Watson, Celia 53 3
2001 Whitter, Hilda Mercedes 53 4
undated Figueroa, José Angel, O Shakespeare! OS III 1
1990 Joans, Ted, Mes Février Fathers, (signed copy of poem, with dedication, glued onto newspaper article "I, Black Surrealist" by same author) OS III 2
undated Williams, B.H., Poetry on a Large Brown Paper Bag OS III 3


Series IV: Subseries 2. Plays
Dates: 1971-2003


Dates Contents Box Folder
1993 Abrams, Jules and Clymire, Robert, The Inventory 53 5
1977 Broad, Jay, White Pelicans 53 6
undated, 1977 Candelario, Pedro, et. al., El Pirata Cofresi, Rock Opera 53 7
1980 Connor-Bey, Brenda, And the Beat Goes On 53 8
1978 Davidson, Richard, Circle of Sparrows 53 9
1989 Douglas, Pepe, A Slip into Darkness 53 10
1978 Estéves, Sandra María, A Subway Ride Thru the Apple 53 11
2001 Falcón, Joe, Mingo's Phantom/ El fantasma de Mingo 53 12
1986 Figueroa, José Angel, King of Crabs 53 13
undated Isaacs, Philip M.: After the Rain: Three Variations on a Theme 53 14
1980-1982 Isaacs, Philip M.: Fast Track 53 15
1974 Mamet, David, Squirrels 54 1
undated, 1989 Meléndez, Jesús Papoleto: El día de las madres 54 2
undated Meléndez, Jesús Papoleto: Dining Outside 54 3
undated Meléndez, Jesús Papoleto: The Junkies Stole the Clock 54 4
1991 Meléndez, Jesús Papoleto: St. Jesus of the Homeless 54 5
undated Méndez Quiñónez, Ramón, Un jíbaro 54 6
undated Mentrie, Peter, An Actor Despairs 54 7
undated Mercado, Nancy (concept by Nancy Mercado and Miguel Flores), Planet Peace 54 8
1990 Mercado, Nancy and Rivas, Bimbo, Chilling 54 9
undated Meredith, Kevin: Confidentially, to Butlers 54 10
undated Meredith, Kevin: The Dinner Play 54 11
undated Meredith, Kevin: The Man with the Graph Shaped Like Your Stomach 54 12
1982 Muniz, Ramón, Interim 54 13
1981 Pérez, Daniel, Tony and María 54 14
2003 Pérez, Frank, SPICS & Other Stories 54 15
undated Quintero, Hector, Rice and Beans 55 1
1973, 1976 Ramírez, Ramiro, et. al., Mondongo (Where Is Yours Coming From?) 55 2
undated, 1978 Rechani-Agrait, Luis, La Compañía 55 3
undated Rivera de García, Carmen M., et. al., Qué Pasa? (Can You Dig It?) 55 4
undated Rosen, Sheldon, Frugal Repast and the Grand Hysteric: Two One Act Plays 55 5
1985 Schenkar, Joan, Between the Acts: A Capitalist Fairy Tale 55 6
1995 Shange, Ntozake, et. al., Nomathemba Hope 55 7
undated Silén, Ivan, Las casas de día 55 8
undated, 1993 Student Plays and Criticism 55 9
undated Unknown, Un cuento de "Cien años de soledad" 55 10
undated Unknown, English Only Restaurant 55 11
undated Unknown, Space Stations 55 12
1973 Valenzuela, Juan: Another Error or A Coalition of Total Theater 55 13
1971 Valenzuela, Juan: The Pink Error 55 14
undated Williams, B.H., Kiss the Fat Ladies Ass 55 15


Series IV: Subseries 3. Film/Television Scripts and Treatments
Dates: 1977-1991


Dates Contents Box Folder
undated Abrams, Leonard, et. al., The Operators: A Situation Soap Opera 55 16
1988 Levin, Marc, Blowback 55 17
undated, 1991 Orrios, Angel Gil and Escalona, Judith, U.S. Spanish Roots 56 1
1977 Rosario Quiles, Luis Antonio, La casa perelló 56 2
1979 Soto, Luis, Ausencia 56 3
1985 Unknown, The Sun and the Moon 56 4
undated Unknown, El trovador 56 5


Series IV: Subseries 4. Essays and Other Writings
Dates: 1957-2003


Dates Contents Box Folder
undated, 1999 Baraka, Amiri 56 6
undated, 1978-1979 Brill, Ernie 56 7
1986 Burns, Diane, Beaujolais Nouveau: The Halley’s Comet Vintage 56 8
undated, 1997-2003 Case, Dave 56 9
1995 Crespy, David, A Nuyorican Absurdist: Pedro Pietri and His Plays of Happy Subversion 56 10
1988 Cruz-Malavé, Arnaldo, Teaching Puerto Rican Authors: Identity and Modernization in Nuyorican Texts 56 11
undated, 1962-1978 Davidson, Richard 56 12
1991 Deida Pietri, Margarita, An Oral History of Unrecognized Latina Women Writers in New York City 57 1
undated, 1998 General 57 2
1988 Griffith, Lois, Set In Our Ways 57 3
undated, 1977, 1985 Holman, Bob 57 4
undated, 1977, 1985 Holman, Bob 57 5
1993-1994 Luchetti, Elisabette, L'opera di Pedro Pietri 57 6
undated Matilla Rivas, Alfredo 57 7
undated, 1997-1999 Nieves, Myrna, Libreta de sueños (narraciones) 57 8
undated, 1957 Notebook, 57 9
undated Sanabria, Izzy, More on Truth (The Brutal Ugly Reality) or The Brutal Ugly Truth 57 10
1980 Soto, Pedro Juan, The City and I 57 11
undated Sussler, Jan, Canciones de encarcelamiento/ Conditions of Incarceration 57 12
undated Trisano, Kosciusko Alex 57 13
undated Unknown, Program of the New Alternative Movement (La Nueva Alternativa) 57 14
undated Untitled Essay 58 1
1968-1979 Valenzuela, Juan 58 2
undated, 1985-2000 Writings on Pedro Pietri 58 3


Series V: Publications
Dates: 1954-2003
Scope and Content Note:

A largely self-published writer, Pietri often produced chapbook versions of his poems for mass distribution and purchase. This series includes chapbooks published with fellow poet Jesús Papoleto Meléndez, under the moniker of the "Los Panfleteros Poetry Series," of well known pieces such as "Puerto Rican Obituary," "Get the Fuck Out of Vieques," "Free Grass for the Working Class" and "Camp Mount Kakee," as well as those published with a local Bronx imprint called BXCAOS. Pietri also collected the chapbooks of fellow poets and many can be found amongst the materials contained herein. Of note is a limited edition chapbook by the poet, painter and independence activist Elizam Escobar titled Otro Sueñista. Particularly interesting in this series are collections of rare literary and poetry journals and magazines, mainly from New York City, that document local writers and the burgeoning downtown scene. Also included in these folders is a collection of poems composed by Pietri titled Public Execution which experimented with symbols and composition as a means to create alternative poetic forms.



Dates Contents Box Folder
1972-1975 Booklets 58 4
undated Chapbooks: Covers 58 5
undated, 1997 Chapbooks: I Never Promised You A Cheeseburger 58 6
undated, 1996 Chapbooks: If You Can Sleep, You Are Heartless 58 7
undated, 1980 Chapbooks: Invisible Poetry 58 8
undated, 1997 Chapbooks: New World Odor 58 9
undated, 1979-2002 Chapbooks: Other Authors 58 10
undated, 1979-2002 Chapbooks: Other Authors 58 11
undated, 1996-2002 Pietri, Pedro 59 1
undated, 1973-1997 Puerto Rican Obituary 59 2
1996-1997 Díaz Carrión, Samuel 59 3
1995 Doctor-Sax, Compilation 59 4
1978-1998 General 59 5
1978-1998 General 59 6
1975-1992 Literary Magazines and Journals 59 7
1975-1992 Literary Magazines and Journals 59 8
1975-1992 Literary Magazines and Journals 59 9
1993-1997 Literary Magazines and Journals 60 1
1954-2003 Poetry Magazines and Journals 60 2
1954-2003 Poetry Magazines and Journals 60 3
1954-2003 Poetry Magazines and Journals 60 4
undated Public Execution 60 5
1981-1996 Student Literary Journals 60 6
1984 Tayacán, Psychological Operations in Guerilla Warfare 60 7
1978 Art Workers News OS IV 1
1992 Brújula Compass 14 OS IV 2
1996 Brújula Compass 25 OS IV 3
1999 Brújula Compass 33 OS IV 4
1984 City Arts Quarterly OS IV 5
1984 East Village Eye OS IV 6
2001 En Rojo OS IV 7
1984 Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press OS IV 8
1980 Latin Life Tele Magazine OS IV 9
1984-1985 La Mueca OS IV 10
1984-1985 La Mueca OS IV 11
1985 Soho Arts Weekly OS IV 12
1984 El Tecolote OS IV 13
1981-1983 Tehching Hsieh One Year Performance; Franklin Furnace, Photo Documentation and Installation OS IV 14
1987 The Underground Forest OS IV 15
1989 Unmuzzled OX Magazine OS IV 16
1989 The Word OS IV 17
undated Los yanques del helicóptero eran veteranos de Vietnam OS IV 18
1988-1992 Your House is Mine, Bullet Space OS IV 19
1981 Zone OS IV 20


Series VI: Subject Files
Dates: 1959-2004
Scope and Content Note:

Varied and multifaceted in content, this series is representative of the numerous projects and activities in which Pietri was involved. Notable among these materials are files on projects that sought to popularize poetry, such as Poets in the Bars, Poets in the Schools and the Puerto Rican Writer's Workshop. This latter initiative, held in 1977 at Galeria Dos (Third Avenue and 107th Street) under the auspices of El Museo del Barrio, brought together community members and writers to discuss poetry and related themes under the direction of Pietri, Jesús Papoleto Meléndez and Dr. Willie Pietri. Poets featured included Ivan Silén and José Angel Figueroa and attendees included the actor Raúl Julia and the poets June Jordan, Victor Hernández Cruz and Lucky Cienfuegos. Both the Flyers and Event Programs files attest to Pietri's many dynamic performances and readings, chronicle events in the Puerto Rican community and provide perspective on the development of the poetry, music and art scenes in downtown Manhattan. Of interest as well are Pietri's extensive research materials on Salvador Agrón, "the Capeman," which were compiled in preparation for the writing of a stage adaptation of the infamous Puerto Rican youth's life in collaboration with the musician Paul Simon.



Dates Contents Box Folder
undated, 1981-1983 126 La Salle Street Tenants Association 61 1
undated, 1959-1986 Agrón, Salvador: Articles and Clippings 61 2
undated, 1959-1986 Agrón, Salvador: Articles and Clippings 61 3
undated, 1975 Agrón, Salvador: General 61 4
undated, 1975, 1977 Agrón, Salvador: Writings 61 5
undated, 1975, 1977 Agrón, Salvador: Writings 61 6
undated, 1975, 1977 Agrón, Salvador: Writings 61 7
undated, 1978-1983 Binder, Wolfgang 61 8
undated, 1990-1991 Blowback, Film 61 9
1988 Brandon, Jorge 61 10
undated Business Cards 61 11
undated, 1975-1989 Certificates and Diplomas 62 1
undated, 1964-2003 Clippings: General 62 2
undated, 1964-2003 Clippings: General 62 3
undated, 1964-2003 Clippings: General 62 4
undated, 1964-2003 Clippings: General 62 5
undated, 1974-1979 Clippings: Luperza Oppenheimer, Isabel "La Negra" 62 6
undated, 1972-2004 Clippings: Pietri, Pedro 62 7
undated, 1972-2004 Clippings: Pietri, Pedro 62 8
undated, 1972-2004 Clippings: Pietri, Pedro 62 9
undated, 1972-1979 Collaborations with P.S. 231K 62 10
undated, 1979-1980 Conference on Literature and the Urban Experience 63 1
undated, 1992-1994 Contact Lists 63 2
undated, 1972-2002 Contracts 63 3
undated, 1979 COPAN 79: Comité Organizador de los Juegos VIII Panamericanos 63 4
undated, 1976, 1981 Copyright Applications 63 5
undated, 1970-1981 Creative Artists Public Service Program (CAPS) 63 6
undated, 1977-1980 Cultural Council Foundation (CCF)/CETA Artist Project: Correspondence and Memoranda 63 7
undated, 1978-1980 Cultural Council Foundation (CCF)/CETA Artist Project: Flyers 63 8
undated, 1974-1980 Cultural Council Foundation (CCF)/CETA Artist Project: General 63 9
1968 Curso de Lingüística Hispánica 64 1
1968 Curso de Lingüística Hispánica 64 2
undated, 1982, 1989 Death Penalty 64 3
undated, 1983-2003 Department of Veterans Affairs 64 4
undated, 1983-2003 Department of Veterans Affairs 64 5
undated, 1995 Díaz, Samuel 64 6
undated, 1999, 2001 English Week, The Rites of Spring: El Reverendo Pedro Pietri Speaks 64 7
undated, 1972-1999 Event Programs: General 64 8
undated, 1972-1999 Event Programs: General 64 9
undated, 1973-1987 Event Programs: Pietri, Pedro 64 10
1988-2002 Event Programs: Pietri, Pedro 65 1
circa 1979, 1983, 1997 Exhibition Catalogues 65 2
undated, 1980 An Evening of Comedy 65 3
1973-1982 Faulstrom, Oyvind 65 4
undated, 1981 Feliciano, Brenda 65 5
undated, 1974, 1980 Figueroa, José Angel 65 6
undated For Vegetarians Only 65 7
undated, 1972-2004 Flyers: General 65 8
undated, 1972-2004 Flyers: General 65 9
undated, 1972-2004 Flyers: General 65 10
undated, 1972-2004 Flyers: General 65 11
undated, 1972-2004 Flyers: General 65 12
undated, 1972-2003 Flyers: Pietri, Pedro 66 1
undated, 1972-2003 Flyers: Pietri, Pedro 66 2
undated, 1972-2003 Flyers: Pietri, Pedro 66 3
undated, 1972-2003 Flyers: Pietri, Pedro 66 4
undated, 1972-2003 Flyers: Pietri, Pedro 66 5
undated, 1972-2003 Flyers: Pietri, Pedro 66 6
undated, 1972-2003 Flyers: Pietri, Pedro 66 7
undated, 1978-1982 Folkway Records 66 8
undated, 1977-2003 General 66 9
undated, 1977-2003 General 66 10
undated, 1977-2003 General 66 11
undated, 1977-2003 General 66 12
undated, 1976-1979 Gioseffi, Daniela 67 1
undated, 1973-2003 Invitations 67 2
undated, 1979-1983 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship 67 3
undated, 1978-1981 Kostelanetz, Richard 67 4
undated, 1975 Language and Structure in North America, Exhibition 67 5
undated El legado cultural de la antigüedad en América: Currículo en español para la educación bilingüe, Las sociedades africanas y su impacto en América 67 6
undated, 1999 Lyrics 67 7
1983-1989 Manhattan Plaza Visitor/ Guest Registration 67 8
undated, 1959-1992 Meléndez, Jesús Papoleto 67 9
undated Menus 67 10
undated, 1999 Negretti, Vionette G., A Different Drummer, Book Proposal 67 11
undated, 1973-1983 Newsletters 67 12
1985-2003 Newsletters 68 1
1985-2003 Newsletters 68 2
undated, 1974-1990 The New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theatre 68 3
1989 Non Traditional Casting Projects 1989 Ethnic Playwrights Listing 68 4
undated, 1974-1999 Pamphlets 68 5
undated, 1985-2002 Photocopied Images and Photographs 68 6
undated, 1984-1997 Pietri, Diana Mercedes 68 7
undated, 1976-1979 Pietri, Dr. Willie 68 8
undated, 1978-1982 Pittsburgh Public Theatre 68 9
undated, 1989 Poets in the Bars 68 10
undated, 1981-1984 Poets in the Schools 68 11
undated, 1981-2004 Post Cards 68 12
undated, 1975-2003 Press Releases 68 13
undated, 1982 Proposals 69 1
undated, 1976-1977 Puerto Rican Writer's Workshop 69 2
undated Recreating Ourselves: Selected Works by Juan Sánchez, Siwash University Art Gallery 69 3
1970-1988 Reports 69 4
1970-1988 Reports 69 5
undated Resumes 69 6
undated Satellite Program Development Fund, National Public Radio Proposal 69 7
undated, 1973-1982 Shange, Ntozake 69 8
undated Student Drawings and Miscellaneous Writings 69 9
undated Title Pages 69 10
1993 Ad/Petition, Defend the Life of Abimael Guzmán! OS V 1
1985 Articles and Clippings: El Discurso de Pedro Pietri, VIVA de El Reportero OS V 2
circa 1984 Articles and Clippings: Dos obras neorricanas, El Nuevo Día OS V 3
1998 Articles and Clippings: The Dreaming, The Independent OS V 4
circa 1980 Articles and Clippings: Exercise Towards Cultural Unity, Focus OS V 5
2000 Articles and Clippings: Inexplorada la aportación literaria de la diáspora puertorriqueña, Diálogo OS V 6
1984 Articles and Clippings: The Masses are Asses OS V 7
2003 Articles and Clippings: MP Summer Youth Program OS V 8
undated Articles and Clippings: Niuyoricans, Magazine OS V 9
1993 Articles and Clippings: Nueva York: Reflexiones sobre el teatro de allá, Claridad OS V 10
2002 Articles and Clippings: Teatro Aspaviento, En Rojo/Claridad OS V 11
1979 Articles and Clippings: They Turn Kids on for Real, North Brooklyn News OS V 12
1999 The Bread is Rising People's Poetry Award OS V 13
1993 Certificate, Office of the Council President, City of New York: Proclamation, "Pedro Pietri Day in New York" OS V 14
undated Floor Plan, Goodwin Theatre, Austin Arts Center, Trinity College OS V 15
2002 Flyers: XXV Festival de Teatro de Vanguardia, Ateneo Puertorriqueño OS V 16
undated Flyers: Coney Island U.S.A. Presents: Sideshows by the Seashore OS V 17
1981 Flyers: Conference on Literature and the Urban Experience on Video Tapes OS V 18
1982 Fall Flyers: Conversations with Writers OS V 19
1982 Spring Flyers: Conversations with Writers OS V 20
1984 Flyers: Films Charas: Lower East Side on Film OS V 21
undated Flyers: Declaration of War… OS V 22
undated Flyers: Don’t Give a Kid a Break OS V 23
undated Flyers: Free Grass for the Working Class OS V 24
undated Flyers: A Fucken Book Party and Goddamn Rummage Sale OS V 25
1975 Flyers: Language & Structure in North America OS V 26
1993 Flyers: Maestros de la Poesía (Masters of Poetry) OS V 27
1985 Flyers: National Contest of Latino Playwrights, New York Shakespeare Festival OS V 28
2000 Flyers: National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation OS V 29
1984 Flyers: No More Bingo at the Wake, The 7th South Bronx Surrealist Festival, Public Theater OS V 30
2003 Flyers: No War On Pot OS V 31
1978-1986 Flyers: NYC Poetry Calendar OS V 32
1978-1986 Flyers: NYC Poetry Calendar OS V 33
1978-1986 Flyers: NYC Poetry Calendar OS V 34
1978-1986 Flyers: NYC Poetry Calendar OS V 35
1978-1986 Flyers: NYC Poetry Calendar OS V 36
1985 Flyers: NYC Poetry Calendar Benefit Reading OS V 37
undated Flyers: One Size Fits All, Atheists for Christ OS V 38
undated Flyers: Piri, Papoleto and Pedro, Directed by Pablo (PPPP) OS V 39
2000 Flyers: El Poder Borinqueño: Puerto Rican Image in the New Millennium OS V 40
1989 Flyers: Poets in the Bars OS V 41
1981-1982 Flyers: Poets at the Public OS V 42
undated Flyers: Puerto Rican Obituary, Poetry Reading and Talk OS V 43
1985-1986 Flyers: Queens College Evening Readings OS V 44
1990 Flyers: Rainbow Body Poetry OS V 45
1981 Flyers: Renacimiento '81, La Fuerza Estudiantil Latina OS V 46
1996 Flyers: Representation versus Experience: Missing Chapters in Dominican History and Culture, Flyers: Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowships OS V 47
1987 Flyers: Reverend Pedro is Coming/The Latin Insomniacs Are Back OS V 48
undated Flyers: Sunday at Three: Lines Open Field Series, The Detroit Institute of Arts OS V 49
undated Flyers: Vineyard Theatre OS V 50
1982 Fall Flyers: Voices from the Belly II, Fall 1982 Poetry Series OS V 51
1991 Flyers: Word of Mouth OS V 52
undated Hamburger OS V 53
undated Letter, Dear Diana (on cardboard) OS V 54
1977 Newsletters: The Black Theatre Alliance OS V 55
1998 Newsletters: Folk Notes OS V 56
1980 Newsletters: Journal: News of the Cultural Council Foundation CETA Artists Project OS V 57
1979 Newsletters: New Rican OS V 58
1987 Newsletters: Poetry Project OS V 59
1982 Newsletters: The Siren Smile OS V 60
1983 Newsletters: Under One Sun: News and Events of the Caribbean Cultural Center OS V 61
1988 Newsletters: Under One Sun: News and Events of the Caribbean Cultural Center OS V 62
1991 Newsletters: Utopías Del Sur OS V 63
1994 April and December Pamphlets: Afrikan Poetry Theatre, Calendars OS V 64
1994 April and December Pamphlets: Afrikan Poetry Theatre, Calendars OS V 65
circa 1982 Pamphlets: El Arresto OS V 66
1998 November-December Pamphlets: The Bronx Writer's Center: Literary Arts Calendar OS V 67
1999 Pamphlets: Rediscovering East Harlem (with map) OS V 68
undated Pamphlets: Yippie: Steal This Speaking Tour! OS V 69
2000 Posters: II festival internezionale di poesia nuove dimensioni, la recerca poetica dalla voce a internet OS V 70
1993 Posters: 16to desfile del pueblo 500 años forjando OS V 71
1996 Posters: 22nd Annual New Year's Day Marathon Reading 1996, St. Mark's Church Poetry Project OS V 72
1984 Posters: 1984 Poetry Project New Year's Benefit, St. Mark's Church OS V 73
2001 Posters: 2001 The Space Odyssey OS V 74
2001 Posters: Acto primero y único, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Mayagüez (laser print color copy) OS V 75
2001 Posters: Acto primero y único, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Mayagüez (laser print copy framed with white posterboard signed by cast) OS V 76
1986 Posters: Alfredo Ceibal, Intar Latin American Gallery OS V 77
undated Posters: Ana Pacheco/The Three Graces Reading: Miner Zivancevic, Molly Russianoff, Morman McAffee, Etan Ben-Amu, ABC No Rio, (Pietri writing on back) OS V 78
2000 Posters: Arise, Fighters of Peace! OS V 79
1987 Posters: Art In The Anchorage, Creative Time OS V 80
1978 Posters: Artist by the Sea (CCF/CETA) OS V 81
1990 Posters: Atlantic Center of the Arts OS V 82
undated Posters: Auditions for Just Buffalo's Writer-in-Residence Pedro Pietri's Play No More Bingo at the Wake OS V 83
1984 Posters: B.M.C.C. Hispanic Society OS V 84
1983 Posters: Bohemia: Galería Nocturna Exposición, Jorge Soto Sánchez (with dedication by artist) OS V 85
undated Posters: Café Teatro Curucho, sección de poesía "Le Mardi" Presents Angela María Dávila (with dedication by artist) OS V 86
1975 Posters: Celebrate a C.E.T.A. Poets Presentation, Poetry Reading OS V 87
circa 1970s Posters: Chico's Funeral Parlor (on the reverse side is Jorge Soto's "Juan Vilar Portafolio Proletario") OS V 88
1980 Posters: Conference on Literature and the Urban Experience, Rutgers University in Newark OS V 89
1985 Posters: Diana M. Pietri Missing (with writing on back) OS V 90
1982 Posters: Ear of the Dog, Poet's Theater Festival OS V 91
1990 Posters: Festival Latino in New York OS V 92
undated Posters: Freedom Rag Magazine OS V 93
circa 1995 Posters: Former Black Panther, Mumia Abu-Jamal, undated OS V 94
1997-1998 Posters: Guide to Hispanic Arts in New York, Association of Hispanic Arts OS V 95
circa 1980s Posters: The Hearth Café Players Debut in a Poetry Concert OS V 96
circa 1990s Posters: A Human Voice OS V 97
1983 Posters: Images and Identities: The Puerto Rican in Literature OS V 98
1993 Posters: Incontro con il poeta Pedro Pietri OS V 99
2001 Posters: Incontro con l'autore Pedro Pietri OS V 100
circa 1980s Posters: Jesus is Leaving, Instituto Arte Internacional, Inc. OS V 101
1982 Posters: Joseph Papp Presents Poets at the Public, Language Theatre OS V 102
undated Posters: The Kitchen OS V 103
undated Posters: Latinos Unido and S.A. Proudly Presents Marta Vega and Pedro Pietri OS V 104
undated Posters: La libertad lógico, Fashion Moda OS V 105
1978 Posters: Mammoth New Year's Benefit, St. Mark's Church Poetry Project OS V 106
undated Posters: The Masses are Asses, Chicago Art Theatre OS V 107
1999 Posters: May Day is Jay Day OS V 108
2002 Posters: Muestra de poesía nacional OS V 109
1981 Posters: New Year's Benefit Festival, St. Mark's Church Poetry Project OS V 110
1985 Posters: N-I-C-A-R-A-G-U-A: Un coro de angeles, George Moore Paintings OS V 111
1985 Posters: Oracle, Exit Art OS V 112
circa 2000 Posters: Paseo Boricua Reception with Pedro Pietri, Café Teatro Batey Urbano OS V 113
circa 1980 Posters: Paz para Vieques/Peace for Vieques OS V 114
1998 Posters: Planet News: A Tribute to Allen Ginsberg OS V 115
circa 1989 Posters: Playwrights' Preview Productions Presents: There is an Angel in Las Vegas OS V 116
1990 Posters: Poder, Latinos Unidos Presents Pedro Pietri OS V 117
undated Posters: Poetry at Pleiades (CCF/CETA) OS V 118
1981 Posters: The Poetry Project OS V 119
1982 Posters: The Poetry Project OS V 120
undated Posters: The Poetry Project: March Events, St. Mark's Church Poetry Project OS V 121
undated Posters: The Poetry Project Night Readings, St. Mark's Church Poetry Project OS V 122
2001 Posters: The Poetry Project's 27th Annual New Year's Day Marathon Reading, St. Mark's Church OS V 123
circa 1980s Posters: Pre-Resurrection, Gas Station OS V 124
1998 Posters: Pride OS V 125
1997 Posters: Puerto Rican Literature Written in the United States: The Reality of Unexplored Fiction OS V 126
undated Posters: The Puerto Rican Obituary OS V 127
1995 Posters: Real AIDS Prevention (R.A.P), Day Without Art OS V 128
1997 Posters: Recital poético OS V 129
undated Posters: Red Hot August, Cultural Council Foundation Calendar of Events OS V 130
1990 Posters: Rites of Passage II OS V 131
undated Posters: The Secret Society: Bombs…Bullets…and Bullshit OS V 132
circa 1980 Posters: Segundo Encuentro de Teatro Bohío Puertorriqueño Inc. (signed by Angelamaría Dávila) OS V 133
circa 1980s Posters: South Africa Will Be Free! OS V 134
1998 Posters: El Spanglish National Anthem, Austin Arts Center, Goodwin Theater OS V 135
undated Posters: Tompkins Square Arts Festival OS V 136
1993 Posters: Transimagen OS V 137
undated Posters: Víctor hdz Cruz, Pedro Pietri, etc., etc., etc. OS V 138
undated Posters: Voices Around the Square OS V 139
undated Posters: Word Up OS V 140
1969-1975, 1983 Posters: The Young Lords Party OS V 141
undated Posters: You’ve Been Made Illegal! Turn Yourself In OS V 142
1981 Posters: Program, Bronx Project '81: An Evening of Theatre and Dance, Henry Street Settlement OS V 143
undated Posters: Wedding Program and Schedule OS V 144


Series VII: Organizations
Dates: 1968-2003
Scope and Content Note:

This brief series helps document several of the organizations with which Pietri collaborated frequently. Established in the early 1970s, the Nuyorican Poet's Café was a crucial forum for the early development of Pietri's eclectic work and remained an intimate part of his career as it progressed. Although the file contained herein is not extensive, it nevertheless hints towards the vibrancy of the institution. Equally, the Latin Insomniacs, of which Jesús Papoleto Meléndez and Dr. Willie Pietri were also members, helped foster Pietri's creative expression and acted as a launching point for several of his plays. Finally El Puerto Rican Embassy, co-founded with Adal Maldonado and originally conceived with Eduardo Figueroa, was created as a space for Pietri and his colleagues to contest the relative national and cultural invisibility of the Puerto Rican community and to assert the influence and contributions of its alternative cultural consciousness to mainstream culture through performances, readings and art exhibitions. Of the other organizations represented in this series The H.B. Playwrights Foundation, Inc., the New Dramatists and INTAR: Hispanic American Theatre all helped support Pietri's playwriting and staged, produced and held readings of several of his plays. Among these were Lewlulu, The Livingroom, and I Dare You to Resist Me. Finally, included is a file on the Poetry Society of America on whose Board Pietri served in the mid-1980s.



Dates Contents Box Folder
undated, 1978, 1983 The H.B. Playwrights Foundation, Inc. 69 11
undated, 1975-1989 INTAR: Hispanic American Theatre 69 12
undated, 1975-1997 Latin Insomniacs 69 13
1974-1999 El Museo del Barrio 69 14
undated, 1982-1992 New Dramatists 70 1
undated, 1982-1992 New Dramatists 70 2
undated, 1977 New York State Small Press Association 70 3
undated, 1981, 1990-2003 Nuyorican Poets Café 70 4
undated, 1985-1988 Poetry Society of America 70 5
undated, 2003 Poets Opposing War 70 6
undated, 1973-1986, 2003 Poets and Writers, Inc. 70 7
undated El Puerto Rican Embassy 70 8
1993-2002 El Puerto Rican Embassy 71 1
undated, 1973-1995 Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre 71 2
undated Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture 71 3
undated, 1980 Stichting One World Poetry 71 4
undated, 1968-1998 Teachers and Writers Collaborative 71 5
undated, 1979-1983 The Veterans Ensemble Theater Company 71 6
2003 Flyers: Become a POW (Template) OS VI 1
undated Flyers: Become a POW OS VI 2
1986 Flyers: Poetry Society of America: Calendar of Events (with writing on back) OS VI 3
undated Flyers: Poets Opposing War (POW) OS VI 4
2003 Flyers: Poets Opposing War Press Release OS VI 5
undated Flyers: Patch Template, Poets Opposing War (POW) OS VI 6
1999 Poetry: We are Poets Opposing War… OS VI 7
1999 Poetry: We are Poets Opposing War… (small samples on 2 large sheets of paper ) OS VI 8
1999 Poetry: We are Poets Opposing War… (small samples on 2 large sheets of paper ) OS VI 9
1985 Posters: The McDonald's Literary Achievement Awards OS VI 10
2003 Posters: Nuyorican Poets Café Aloud!, 30 Years OS VI 11
1999 Posters: Nuyorican Stories: Culture Clash in the City, INTAR 53 OS VI 12
undated Posters: El Puerto Rican Embassy Invites You to the Public Execution OS VI 13
1985 Posters: Simpson Street, The Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre OS VI 14
2002 Posters: Viequethon Mayo 2-5, 2002, Encuentro de artistas para la paz en Vieques OS VI 15
undated Posters: "Vote Rev. Pedro Pietri for US Senate, Primer Out of Focus Candidato from El New Hybrid State de Nuyol" (Out of Focus Nuyoricans) OS VI 16
1979 Program, El macho, The Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre OS VI 17


Series VIII: Photographs
Dates: 1969-2003
Scope and Content Note:

An eclectic gathering of images, this series chronicles a number of performances and readings by Pietri, as well as the richness and extent of his personal relationships. Contained herein are photographs of Pietri with Francisco Matos Paoli in Puerto Rico, from the project "Amor de mi muerte" on which he collaborated with Martha Margarita Támez, of a performance of "No More Bingo at the Wake" and shots of the Latin Insomniacs. In addition, there are photographs taken by community photographer Hiram Maristany, photographs of Pietri's daughters Diana Mercedes Pietri and Evava Smith Pietri and his son Speedo Juan Pietri, and a portrait of Pietri by Carlos Ortiz.



Dates Contents Box Folder
circa 1999 Amor de mi muerte 71 7
circa 1999 Amor de mi muerte 71 8
undated Blowback 71 9
undated Conference 71 10
undated Contact Sheets 71 11
undated, 2002-2003 Deida Pietri, Margarita and Pietri, Speedo Juan 71 12
undated Demonstration for Puerto Rican Political Prisoners 71 13
undated, 1985-1991 Family 71 14
undated Family Photo Album 71 15
undated, 1969-1970 Family Photo Album 72 1
undated, 1969-1970 Family Photo Album 72 2
undated, 1969-1970 Family Photo Album 72 3
undated Ginsberg, Allen 72 4
undated Head Shots 72 5
undated, 1992-1993 Latin Insomniacs 72 6
undated Love Poems to My Surrealist Gypsy 72 7
undated, 1981-2001 Miscellaneous 72 8
undated, 1981-2001 Miscellaneous 72 9
undated, 1981-2001 Miscellaneous 72 10
undated No More Bingo At The Wake 72 11
undated Performances, General 72 12
undated, 1986-2003 Performances and Readings, Pietri, Pedro 72 13
undated, 1986-2003 Performances and Readings, Pietri, Pedro 72 14
undated, 1986-2003 Performances and Readings, Pietri, Pedro 72 15
undated, 1982 Pietri, Diana Mercedes 72 16
undated Pietri, Pedro with Friends and Colleagues 72 17
undated, 1984-2003 Pietri, Pedro with Friends and Colleagues 73 1
undated, 1984-2003 Pietri, Pedro with Friends and Colleagues 73 2
undated Pietri, Pedro with Matos Paoli, Francisco 73 3
undated, 1989-2002 Portraits 73 4
undated, 1989-2002 Portraits 73 5
undated, 1989-2002 Portraits 73 6
undated Poetry Workshop 73 7
undated Poets in the Bars 73 8
undated, 1979 Slides 73 9
undated, 1989 Smith-Pietri, Evava 73 10
undated Welfare Poets 73 11
undated Young People in Street, Maristany, Hiram 73 12
circa 1970s "Carrying Clothes to the First People's Church, January" OS VII 1
1970 "March to the United Nations, October 30, 1970" OS VII 2
undated Four Children (José Ortiz, Aida Rivera, Areol Rivera, and Josephine Carcano), Cartagena, Rubén OS VII 3
undated Mountainous Terrain and Saddled Horse OS VII 4
1997 Pietri, Pedro with Friends OS VII 5
undated Portrait of Couple (with dedication to Pietri), Ortiz, Carlos OS VII 6
1991 Reverendo Pedro Pietri: Out of Focus Nuyorican, Maldonado, Adal OS VII 7


Series IX: Artwork
Dates: 1978-2004
Scope and Content Note:

One of the richest series in the collection, the artwork assembled herein is representative of Pietri's prodigious talent and far reaching attempts to translate the written word into different media. Made up of collages, handmade books, drawings and re-appropriated and stylized paintings and objects, the series' true strength lies in the many single word or phrase signs that express the lexicon of Pietri's poetic imagination. Paralleling the work of such contemporary artists as Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger and Lorenzo Homar, Pietri's use of simple textual messages, often rendered with white lettering on a black background, provided for biting social and political commentary, and adhered to the humorous and absurdist ethos which prevailed in the rest of his work. Included as well are a series of works titled "Dark Art," where Pietri took already existent objects of "art," spray painted them black and transformed them into his own, exhibiting many in subways stations throughout New York City. The series also contains original artwork by other artists and colleagues such as Nitza Tufiño and Martha Margarita Támez.



Dates Contents Box Folder
undated Collages 73 13
undated Collages 73 14
undated Collages 73 15
undated Drawings 73 16
undated Drawings 73 17
1978-2002 Drawings 74 1
undated Food Seals 74 2
undated Handmade Books 74 3
undated Handmade Books 74 4
undated, 2000, 2004 Pietri, Speedo Juan 74 5
undated Signs: Numbers 74 6
undated Signs: A-K 74 7
undated Signs: A-K 74 8
undated Signs: A-K 74 9
undated Signs: L-Y 75 1
undated Signs: L-Y 75 2
undated Signs: L-Y 75 3
undated Signs: L-Y 75 4
1989 Atheist for Christ (white paste-on letters on black canvas) OS VIII 1
undated Collages: Support Your Poets Now! OS VIII 2
1977 Collages: The Unicorn OS VIII 3
undated Collages: Untitled Piece with Glitter and Black Tape OS VIII 4
2002 Dark Art: Black Rose (black paint on relief rose) OS VIII 5
2002 Dark Art: Bouquet (black paint on canvas) OS VIII 6
2002 Dark Art: Enamel Spray Paint on Material in Frame OS VIII 7
undated Dark Art: Manila Folder Covered in Black Tape OS VIII 8
2002 Dark Art: NYC (enamel spray paint on canvas) OS VIII 9
undated Dark Art: Quaker Oats Box Top OS VIII 10
1990 Digital Illustration, Disfrasadi, Baretto, Néstor OS VIII 11
undated Drawings and Sketches: Aguadilla, P.R. OS VIII 12
undated Drawings and Sketches: Portrait, Pedro Pietri OS VIII 13
undated Drawings and Sketches: Portrait, Pedro Pietri OS VIII 14
circa 1989 Drawings and Sketches: Sábana, Támez, Martha Margarita OS VIII 15
undated Drawings and Sketches: Set of Five Works, Marker on Paper (mounted) OS VIII 16
undated Drawings and Sketches: Soto, Jorge (reprints of artist's work) OS VIII 17
1987 Drawings and Sketches: Untitled Piece OS VIII 18
1973 Drawings and Sketches: Untitled Rendering of a Neighborhood Street (signed by artist) OS VIII 19
undated Prints: Abstract Image of Two Faces OS VIII 20
undated Prints: Image of a Bird with Snake in its Mouth OS VIII 21
circa 1990s Prints: Image of a Man in Tuxedo Eating (cover image for Scarafaggi metropolitani e altre poesie, Italian edition of Pietri's work) OS VIII 22
undated Prints: Misión Humanidad OS VIII 23
undated Posters: La Catrina, Posada, José Guadalupe OS VIII 24
undated Posters: Eat Rocks! OS VIII 25
circa 1970s Posters: Untitled Image of Man/Child with Arms Raised OS VIII 26
circa 1970s Signs: Allowed OS VIII 27
undated Signs: Check It Out! OS VIII 28
circa 1970s Signs: Equal Opportunity Undertaker OS VIII 29
undated Signs: Free N.Y.C/End OS VIII 30
undated Signs: Free Piraquas/No OS VIII 31
undated Signs: Free Poems and Condoms OS VIII 32
undated Signs: Free Puerto Rico/The OS VIII 33
undated Signs: Free Yourself/Mas OS VIII 34
undated Signs: Fuck You OS VIII 35
undated Signs: Get a Job!/No Mas OS VIII 36
undated Signs: The Gospel According to Johns OS VIII 37
undated Signs: I Was Also Killed in Vietnam OS VIII 38
undated Signs: The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste/Down with Your Freedom of Expression OS VIII 39
circa 1970s Signs: No Experience Necessary OS VIII 40
undated Signs: Public Execution Series OS VIII 41
undated Signs: Rent – A – Coffin Series OS VIII 42
undated Signs: Shut the Hell Up/Shut the Fuck Up OS VIII 43
undated Signs: Underground Poetry OS VIII 44
undated Signs: War Poems/Little Girl with Make Believe Hair OS VIII 45


Series X: Artifacts
Dates: circa 1968-2001
Scope and Content Note:

Equally as strong in content as the artwork in the collection, the artifacts contained in this series encompass original pieces and ready-mades, many used for Pietri's performances, as well as objects from Pietri's everyday life. Among the more well known pieces are a series of handbags, suitcases and briefcases which Pietri emblazoned with his tell tale messages and phrases rendered in white lettering, and the wooden condom cross he used in his AIDS/safe sex advocacy work. Included also are samples of some of Pietri's most recognizable physical accoutrements, leather gloves and black knit caps, in tandem with metal cans decorated with text messages and rubber hands mounted on wooden sticks, both of which he often used during his performances.



Dates Contents Folder
1991 Big Hand (Church of the Mother of Tomatoes) 1
1998 Black Autograph Book 2
1989-1990 Black Cross (with condoms) 3
undated Black Frame (with plexiglass) 4
undated Black Leather Gloves 5
undated Black Visor 6
1981-1989 Bottle Caps with Dated Bottle Stamps 7
undated Box, To Carmen, Seasons Greetings From The Latin Insomniacs 8
undated Briefcases and Suitcases: ? 9
undated Briefcases and Suitcases: Black Brief Case 10
1991 Briefcases and Suitcases: La Bochinchera 11
1991 Briefcases and Suitcases: El Bodeguero 12
1991 Briefcases and Suitcases: La Bruja 13
circa 1980s Briefcases and Suitcases: Free Grass for the Working Class/Reverend Pedro 14
1991 Briefcases and Suitcases: Funeral Fun $1500.01 15
2001 Briefcases and Suitcases: Little Reverend 16
undated Briefcases and Suitcases: Numbers Bye, 40 Bus $ Hit 17
undated Briefcases and Suitcases: Out of Order 18
undated Briefcases and Suitcases: Poems and Condoms for Sale 19
undated Briefcases and Suitcases: Priority Seating for Persons with Disabilities, Fear No Art 20
1991 Briefcases and Suitcases: Reverend Pedro 21
1991 Briefcases and Suitcases: Spanglish National Anthem 22
undated Buttons: Black Pins 23
undated Buttons: Black Pins 24
undated Buttons: No More Bombs Veterans for Peace for Vieques, U.S Navy Out 25
undated Buttons: Poets Opposing War 26
undated Buttons: Stop the Bombing in El Salvador, Stop the Mind Games in Puerto Rico 27
1989 Buttons: Stop! Stop! 28
1981 Capia, Wedding of Lisa y Frank (Pietri) 29
circa 1970s Cans: CIA-DDT-KGB-UGH 30
circa 1980s Cans: Help Me I Can See 31
circa 1970s Cans: Help Me Not See 32
circa 1970s Framed Puerto Rican Flag 33
undated Handmade Book with Tacks, "Public Execution" 34
undated Identification Card, Rent-A-Coffin 35
1990 Knit Cap 36
2001 Little Hand (Church of the Mother of Tomatoes) 37
undated Manuscript in Box, The After After Hours 38
undated Medallions: Ceramic with A+ 39
undated Medallions: Empire State Building Playing Maracas and Chrysler Building Playing Bongos 40
1989-1990 One Size Fits All, Painted Wood Panels with Envelopes and Condoms 41
undated Pen 42
1990 Plaque, Poder Latinos Unidos is Proud to Recognize Pedro Pietri 43
undated Printing Plate, Festival de Puerto Rico 44
undated Reading Glasses 45
undated Religious Pendant 46
2003 Sandwich Boards: Beware of Sober People/Danger Poets Out to Lunch 47
2001 Sandwich Boards: Poets Opposing War 48
undated, 1973-1993 Scrapbook 49
1979 Silver Plaque Presented to Pedro Pietri, Buscov's Festival de Puerto Rico 50
undated Small Black Binder or Agenda 51
undated Sunglasses 52
circa 1970s Telephone 53
1979 Tote Bags: 8vo Juegos Pan Americanos Puerto Rico San Juan 79 54
undated Tote Bags: Free Condoms 55
circa 1980s Tuxedo T-Shirt 56
undated Typewriter 57
circa 1968 Vietnam Service Medal 58
1971 Vinyl Records: Aquí Se Habla Español: Pedro Pietri en Casa Puerto Rico 59
1979 Vinyl Records: Loose Joints 60
1981 Vinyl Records: The One That You Love, Air Supply (with dedication) 61
undated Whip 62
undated Wood Case, Tu Difunta Esposa 63


Series XI: Audio-Visual
Dates: 1988-2003
Scope and Content Note:

Inclusive of videotapes, reel-to-reel audio tapes and audiocassettes, this series, much like the artwork and artifacts, provides researchers with yet another perspective from which to analyze Pietri's artistic production. Putting a moving image to Pietri's performing body and a voice to his poetic enunciations, the materials contained here lend a three dimensional perspective to Pedro Pietri the poet, performer and playwright. The videotapes, furthermore, capture Pietri performing abroad, specifically Italy, Puerto Rico and El Salvador, demonstrating his popularity and influence outside of New York City. The audiotapes and reel-to-reel audio tapes, in turn, are a rich resource for recordings of Pietri's poetic performances, readings of several of his plays and collaborations with other artists. In addition, they capture Pietri in his capacity as a teacher and provide recordings of several poetry workshops that he taught in New York City elementary schools. For researchers interested in accessing the audiocassette collection, a separate detailed listing is available upon request. User copies of reel-to-reel audio tapes are also available upon request.



Dates Contents Folder
undated Videotapes: Flag Burning, Homeless Piranas, Jorge Brandon Interview, Doo Wop Night at Poet Café, Ozy Interview, AIDS Walk 1
1995 Videotapes: Imagery Pedro Pietri Tape with Poet Gellis 2
undated Videotapes: Machito: A Latin Jazz Legacy, Ortiz, Carlos 3
1993 Videotapes: Mario Argiolas "Incontro con Pedro Pietri" 4
undated Videotapes: Pedro Homeless Tape 5
2003 Videotapes: Pedro Pietri in El Salvador and Vieques Video 6
undated Videotapes: Pedro Pietri in Italy 7
1988 Videotapes: Recital de Pedro Pietri, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Ponce, P.R. 8
undated Videotapes: Speedo 9
undated Videotapes: Viejo San Juan/Spanglish National Anthem 10
1991 DVD’s: Flag Burning, Homeless Piranas, Jorge Brandon Interview, Doo Wop Night at the Nuyorican Poets Café, Miscellaneous 1
1995 DVD’s: Ideas and Images, Host Willard Gellis 2
2003 DVD’s: Pedro Pietri in El Salvador 3
1993 DVD’s: Pedro Pietri in Italy/Incontro con Pedro Pietri 4
undated DVD’s: Pedro and Me (Margarita) Dancing 5
1988 DVD’s: Recital de Pedro Pietri, Universidad de Puerto Rico, Ponce, P.R. 6
undated DVD’s: The Reverend Pedro Pietri (1944-2004), Selected Readings 7
undated DVD’s: Spanglish National Anthem, Reading at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Featuring Pedro Pietri and Speedo Juan Pietri 8
undated DVD’s: Spanglish National Anthem/Viejo San Juan, Stage Performance 9
undated DVD’s: Speedo Pietri 10
Reel-to-Reel: User copies available upon request 1-6
Audiocassettes: Inventory list available upon request 1-110