The East Orange Public Library Cultural Café presents “Latino Poets Speak Out” on Thursday, September 17, at 6 pm in the East Orange Room at the Main Library (located at 21 South Arlington Avenue). The evening will start with Open Mic followed by featured poets Peggy Robles-Alvarado and José Angel Figueroa. The evening will pay homage to Piri Thomas, a writer and poet who was influential in the Nuyorican Movement; and Pablo Neruda, the Chilean poet, diplomat and politician.

José Angel Figueroa is a poet, playwright, editor, actor, and professor of Puerto Rican, Latin American and Caribbean Literature. He is best known for his poetry, a diverse body of work that reflects a searing social commentary about cultural, gender, economic and political issues related to the Latino experience in the United States, the independence struggle of Puerto Rico, and the exploitation of Latin America by U.S. foreign policy. One of the poets associated with the early years of the Nuyorican literary movement and the Nuyorican Poets Café, Figueroa has been credited as a major contributor to the Puerto Rican and Latino literary experience in The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature, Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America, and the Harvard Educational Review. Presently, Figueroa is a professor of Latin American and Caribbean literature at Boricua College in New York City. He resides in Harlem.

Peggy Robles-Alvarado is a resilient New York City tenured educator, a 2014 BRIO performance poet award winner, CantoMundo Fellow and a two time International Latino Book Award winner and author of Conversations With My Skin and Homenaje A Las Guerreras/ Homage to the Warrior Women. She has been published in The North American Congress on Latin America, Letras and Nuyorican Women Writers Vol.2 of Centro Voices by the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, The Bronx Memoir Project, Luna Luna Magazine, and Sofrito For Your Soul.  She is the recipient of the 2015 Areito Award for Poet of the Year, the 2013 Tato Laviera Poetic Teamster Award, 2012 Mujeres Destacadas Award and the Womyn Warrior Award. Determined to build a legacy within the arts, she is continuously creating and supporting literary events and workshops through Robleswrites Productions.

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This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by the Essex County Division of cultural and Historic Affairs and is being generously sponsored by PNC Bank and the Friends of East Orange Public Library. These programs are also being generously sponsored by PNC Bank and The Friends of East Orange Public Library.

A gateway to knowledge, the East Orange Public Library helps people of all ages meet their informational, educational, and recreational needs through professionally selected print and non-print resources. For further information about this and other programs for adults, please visit, or contact the Adult Services Department at 973-266-7049.