"In his latest work “The Moor of The Bronx” our unapologetic Nuyorican story teller Ricardo Nazario y Colón weaves untold blood stained and government food poems of survival, resilience and celebration of life in the Bronx. The hardness of bullets and red bricks encase the aroma of familia y comunidad. The sprayed painted murals holding space for junkies, pushers and growing young people who held their ancestors’ wildest dreams, while dodging violence, hunger and displacement as they planted their roots on broken sidewalks.
He describes “the borough always on the alert, another black man hunted” as he reimagines anti-hero Larry Davis, also known as Adam Abdul-Hakeem. He highlights the ongoing moves of families at midnight when the rent was due in the El Building. Both Larry and the required migrations pay homage to the resilience of black and brown urban communities’ insistence on living visible and memorable lives while chocking on assimilation, as masterfully describe in Benevolent Assimilation.
The Moor of the Bronx is a testament to urban chaos and survival. In these times of racial reckoning, division and uncertainly, we need the medicine that Ricardo serves in each of his poems. In order to embrace our shared humanity, we must listen to the lived experience and honor the grit of our mostly invisible and discounted heroes."
–Marta Maria Miranda-Straub, Author of Cradled by Skeletons: A life in Poems and Essays, A bilingual memoir.
"People and place are as tied together as any two things can be. If you doubt that, drive across the country. Observe region and language and food. Better yet, go to an entirely different nation. Places make people. Places make different shades, different sounds and tastes and manners. And then, of course, places mingle. People move. New versions of words are made: new recipes become familiar. These poems are bold in how well they mingle. They’re hilarious and angry. What is poetry without anger? Not much. Read these out loud: amp them up–try the voices on. Somehow these poems trace it all back: a whole history of heat and laughter. Back so far that it’s all connected. At the end, it seems vitally important that we do know why we eat the things we eat; why we sound the way we do. Why we blame and take issue with certain things. This is deeply human–it allows for emotion and the mantras that keep us alive: that keep us tied to where we’re from. These poems are stories of people who have endured a decent amount of uneasiness. Meet them: be with them. See that we are not being judged, / for this carnal dance. "
-Micah Ling in Poetry on January 2, 2012
"In The Recital, Ricardo Nazario y Colon crafts a bildungsroman revolving around young Orfeo set against a backdrop of rural Puerto Rico. In these deftly rendered poems, Nazario y Colon endears us to his well-intentioned hero but does not flinch from the at-times uncomfortable circumstances Orfeito finds himself in, from questions of racial identity to matters of the heart. Reading as raw as an exposed nerve, Nazario y Colon's voice remains as unadorned and tender as the first fruit of spring, rife with both tart and sweet notes."
-Bianca Spriggs, author of Kaffir Lily and Caall Her by Her Name
Ricardo's latest project is Moor of the Bronx, now available for advanced order through Finishing Lne Press. Another forthcoming book, currently under contract is Latinx Voices in Appalachia (University Press of Kentucky, 2024).
Since 1991, the Affrilachian Poets have been writing together, defying the persistent stereotype of a racially homogenized rural Appalachian region.
Through their writing and the very existence of their enclave, the Affrilachian Poets continue to reveal relationships that link identity to familial roots, socio-economic stratification and cultural influence, and an inherent connection to the land.