Nuyorican Poet Pedro Pietri 1944-2004

March 05, 2004


Alden Meyer

Director of Policy and Government Relations for the "Union of Concerned Scientists".

Russell Train

Environmental Administrator under Presidents Nixon and Ford. He currently serves as Chairman emeritus at the World Wildlife Fund.

Pedro Pietri died on Wednesday at the age of 59. We hear him reading his work in 1968 and Democracy Now co-host Juan Gonzalez reads Pietri’s epic poem "Puerto Rican Obituary."

The famed Nuyorican poet Pedro Pietri died Wednesday at the age of 59. He was born in Ponce Puerto Rico and his family moved to Harlem in the 1940s. He would go to become of the city’s best known poets capturing what it was like for Puerto Ricans to live in New York. In the 1970s he helped start the legendary Nuyorican Poets Café on the Lower East Side.

He published more than 20 books of poetry and plays. His best known work was the epic poem "Puerto Rican Obituary."

We’ll hear an excerpt from the documentary (Third World Newsreel) to hear Pietri read an excerpt from his poem And Democracy Now! Juan Gonzalez reflects on the legacy of Pedro Pietri and reads "Puerto Rican Obituary" in its entirety.

  • Pedro Pietri, reading an excerpt of his poem "Puerto Rican Obituary" from the Third World Newsreel documentary "El Pueblo Se Levanta."
  • Juan Gonzalez, reading Pedro Pietri’s poem "Puerto Rican Obituary"
  • Read Pedro Pietri’s poem "Puerto Rican Obituary"