Braschi – Experimental Spanglish Poet

giaGiannina Braschi is the author of the experimental bilingual novel YO-YO BOING! and the poetry trilogy EMPIRE OF DREAMS.

Born in Puerto Rico but based out of New York, her work chronicles the experiences of Latin American immigrants in the United States.

YO-YO BOING!, written in half-Spanish and half-English, using the daily language of millions of Latinos in the United States, is considered the first “Spanglish” novel.

“For decades, Puerto Rican authors have carried out a linguistic revolution, and,” noted The Boston Globe, “her novel testifies to it.” Her work is “a synergetic fusion that marks in a determinant fashion, the lived experiences of U. S. Hispanics,” said the late American essayist and novelist David Foster Wallace.

Following a childhood in which she was the top ranked tennis player in Puerto Rico, she would go on to become a student of literature in Madrid, Rome, Paris, and London.  In Europe, Braschi would discover the dramatic and philosophical works of French, German, Polish, Irish, and Russian authors. Her later works would exemplify “experimental” style and format, celebrating foreign influences.

She settled in New York City and obtained a PhD in Hispanic Literatures at the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1980.  A leader of the Nuyorican (New York/Puerto Rican) poetry scene, her first collection of Spanish prose poetry, Asalto al Tiempo, debuted in Barcelona in 1980.

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