Poet and visual artist, Sandra María Esteves, known as The Godmother of Nuyorican Poetry, has published several collections of poetry which include: DivaNations (a cappella, audio cd, 2010); Wildflowers (a cappella, audio cd, 2009); Portal(Limited Editions Press, 2007); Poems In Concert (Air Loom Publications, 2006); Finding Your Way, Poems for Young Folks (No Frills Publications, 1999); Contrapunto In the Open Field (No Frills Publications, 1998); Undelivered Love Poems (No Frills Publications, 1997); Bluestown Mockingbird Mambo (Arte Público Press, 1990); Tropical Rain: A Bilingual Downpour (African Caribbean Poetry Theater, 1984); and Yerba Buena (Greenfield Review Press, 1980; selected Best Small Press 1981 by the Library Journal).
One of the first Dominican Boricua Nuyorican women to publish a recognized volume of poetry in the United States, she is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including: a Pregones Theater/NEA Master Artist Award, 2010; the Con Tinta Award from the Acentos Poetry Collective, 2007; Poet Honoree from Universes Poetic Theater Ensemble Company, 2006; The Owen Vincent Dodson Memorial Award For Poetry from Blind Beggar Press, 2002; Arts Review Honoree from the Bronx Council on the Arts, 2001; The Edgar Allan Poe Literary Award from the Bronx Historical Society, 1992; and a Poetry Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts in 1985, among others.
Sandra was formerly the Executive Director/Producer of the African Caribbean Poetry Theater, where she produced several seasons of full-length, staged, equity showcase, off-Broadway plays, touring productions, multimedia spoken word performances, poetry series, theater workshops and publications.
Her poems have appeared in: Breaking Ground Anthology of Puerto Rican Women Writers In New York 1980-2012, Ed. by Myrna Nieves, Editorial Campana, 2012; The Afro-Latin@Reader, History and Culture In the United States, Ed. by Miriam Jiménez and Juan Flores, Duke University Press, 2010 • Let Loose On the World: Celebrating Amiri Baraka at 75, The Amiri Baraka Commemoration Committee, 2009 •African Voices, Fall/Winter 2007, Vol. 12, Issue 23• Understanding the Latina/o Experience in the United States: Readings in Ethnic Studies; John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Pearson Education Company; 2007 • Latino Boom, An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature, Pearson Education, Inc., www.ablongman.com, 2006 • The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Vol E, Contemporary Period 1945 to the Present, Houghton Mifflin Co., 2006 • Red Hot Salsa, Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States, Henry Holt and Company, 2005 • U.S. Latino Literature Today, Pearson Education, Inc., 2005 • Approaching Literature in the 21st Century, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005 • Puerto Rican Music and Dance: RicanStructing Roots/Routes, Part II, Centro Journal Vol. XVI, No. 2, Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, Hunter College/CUNY, 2004 • Latino Studies Journal, Vol. 2, Issue 2, Ed. by Suzanne Oboler, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago, www.palgrave-journals.com, 2004 • Riding Low on the Streets of Gold, Latino Literature for Young Adults, Ed. by Judith Ortiz Cofer, Piñata Books/Arte Publico Press/University of Houston, 2003 • Almost a Woman web site for Exxon-Mobil Masterpiece Theater American Collection, WGBH/Boston, 2002 • Herencia: The Anthology of Hispanic Literature of the United States, Ed. by Nicolás Kanellos, Oxford University Press, 2002 • The Prentice Hall Anthology of Latino Literature, Prentice Hall/Pearson Education Inc., 2002 • Bum Rush the Page, Three Rivers Press/Crown Publishing Group, 2001 • Glencoe Literature, The Reader’s Choice: American Literature, Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2000 • Hispanic American Literature, NTC Publishing Group, 1998 • El Coro, A Chorus of Latino and Latina Poetry, University of Massachusetts Press, 1997 • In Other Words, Literature by Latinas of the United States, Arte Publico Press, 1994 • Unsettling America, An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry, Penguin Books, 1994 • Aloud, Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Henry Holt and Co., 1994 • Puerto Rican Writers at Home in the USA;Ed. by Faythe Turner; Open Hand Publishing Inc., 1991; and others.
Ms. Esteves has presented her work at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the Kennedy Center, the Public Theater, and at major universities and educational institutions across the country. A teaching artist for over thirty years, she has conducted literary programs for the New York City Board of Education, Teachers & Writers Collaborative, the Bronx Council on the Arts, the Caribbean Cultural Center and El Museo del Barrio, among others. Today, she continues creating art, presenting poetry readings, producing/directing spoken-word collaborations and teaching creative writing workshops.
Sandra believes that creativity is the antithesis to violence. Her writings focus on transformation and empowerment through reflection and analysis of real life issues. She draws on her wealth of literary form, wordplay, structure and history.