CENTRO and Lost and Found: The CUNY Poetics Initiative proudly announce the fellows selected for the inaugural year of the Diasporican Archives Summer Fellowship: Krystina François and José Acosta-Seda. This collaboration aims to illuminate the rich tapestry of Diasporican literature through the publication of the Diasporican Archives Chapbook Series.

The Diasporican Archives Chapbook Series is an initiative that will showcase materials from the extensive archives of Diasporican literature held at CENTRO. Fueled by the scholarly endeavors of the selected fellows, the series promises to offer readers a deeper understanding of the cultural, political, and social dimensions of the Puerto Rican diaspora experience through the CENTRO archives.

Over the Summer of 2024, François will study the works of prominent Puerto Rican writer Tato Laviera and the Tato Laviera Collection held by CENTRO. Through extensive archival research, she hopes to call attention to the political engagement, community mobilization efforts, and diaspora politics of Afro-Latinos in New York City. Acosta-Seda will be working on Piri Thomas's papers to reveal a more intimate side of the author. Focusing on his notebooks, he expects to rescue poems and other entries with literary value.


Krystina François

Krystina François is a PhD student in political science at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her research focuses on diaspora politics, transnational organizing, and social movements by studying Black immigrants' political participation and influence across the Western Hemisphere. She uses archive building and oral histories to explore the role of protests in shaping political landscapes and perceptions of political power through a decolonial lens. Before entering academia, Krystina led migrant and racial justice organizations, developed public policy, and served as a strategic advisor. Growing up as a first-generation Haitian-American, along with her education at the United Nations International School and time in Haiti, informs her research, writing, and pedagogical practice.

José Acosta-Seda

José Acosta-Seda teaches at the Department of Africana, Puerto Rican, and Latino Studies at Hunter College and the Latin American and Latino Studies Program at Queens College. He is also a PhD candidate in the Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. His work has been featured in the Routledge Companion for Latinx Life Writing and different academic journals. His research focuses on Puerto Rican and Latinx Culture, especially mass media representations of popular uprisings and the intersections between performance and embodiment.



Nuyorican Artists in the Cafe

This Nuyorican Artists in the Cafe working group is looking to document the influence of artists who have emerged from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, from its inception in 1973 and onward.