The Nuyorican Poets Cafe is a historic community cultural center in the East Village (Loisaida) that was founded by leaders of the Nuyorican Movement of the 1960s-70s. It’s a Puerto Rican venue, but everyone is welcome and everyone goes. 🇵🇷
As of 2023, The Nuyorican is closed for reconstruction until 2027, but is hosting events at the Bowery Poetry Club in NoHo and Pregones PRTT Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in Hell’s Kitchen.
It normally hosts jazz nights, poetry slams, and open mics. It’s won many awards and is a place where great things begin.
In 2023, the Executive Director is Caridad de la Luz “La Bruja,” a renowned Emmy award-winning, spoken word artist.
Nuyorican Poets Cafe News
Puerto Rican Spoken Word
The Nuyorican Bowery Slam is at the Bowery Poetry Club in NoHo, Manhattan; Mondays from 7-9pm (6:30pm doors). $20. bowerypoetry.com 🇵🇷
Puerto Rican Spoken Word
The Nuyorican Poets Cafe Monthly Grand Slam is at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan; on the last Friday of the month at 10pm. From $25. pregonesprtt.org 🇵🇷
Nuyorican Poets Cafe Tickets
Nuyorican Poets Cafe
263 East 3rd St
(between Avenues B & C)
“Loisaida” East Village, Manhattan
(M) to Delancey St – Essex St
(C) or (F) to Second Avenue
About The Nuyorican Poets Cafe
Today the Nuyorican is New York’s home of slam poetry, which is sort of standup poetry theater, or maybe theatrical rap.
Of course we speak perfect English and perfect Spanish, but most Puerto Ricans speak what can only be described as Puerto Rican. It’s a Caribbean Spanish with its own tonalities, words, and expressions. The Puerto Rican accent lends itself to bending words just like rappers do. So poetry slams have this singing quality, just like rap.
And the Spanglish element is another twist. It used to be unique, but now that Puerto Rican music has taken over the world, everybody speaks Spanglish.
Bomba, plena, and the trovadores of Puerto Rico are clear island predecessors. The improvisation, flirting, and boasting are all there. Caribbean culture is one of the sources of rap.
The Nuyorican’s logo is a vejigante (Puerto Rican carnival character representing us non-Spaniards) running with a book. He looks like a vejigante from Loíza Aldea to us.
When we were in print, we used to deliver the magazine around New York. One day we walked into the Nuyorican. The guy who was working looked pretty tough. He made us a little nervous actually. He looked us up and down, looked at the Latin flags on our cover, and said, “You know how strong we would be if we were all together?” We’ll never forget that day, once upon a time at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.