About this working group

This 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. Artists such as Miguel Algarín, Pedro Pietri, Jorge Sanchez Soto, Miguel Piñero, Jorge Brandon, Lois Elaine Griffith, Sandra Maria Esteves, Marlis Momber and others are on our list to study. In looking at these artists’, and their involvement with the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, our broader goal is to explore, chart, and archive these artists’ movements through the Lower East Side’s vibrant arts scene and beyond. In that way, we will highlight the Cafe as an important and vital cultural epicenter that has had a tremendous influence on American life, history, arts, and letters for the last fifty years. A site that, because it was formulated by people from the African-Caribbean diaspora, and grounded in Afrocentric traditions, is often dismissed and severely understudied.

Nuyorican Artists in the Cafe working group is led by Joseph Cáceres, Lois Elaine Griffith, and Vallerie Matos.



From left to right: Lois Elaine Griffith, Julio Dalmau (seated NPC house manager), and Miguel Algarín outside the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Taken by Marlis Momber who documented cultural activity in New York’s Lower East Side from the late 1960s through the early 2010s.