VERSO NEGRO: Black Verse Poetry of the Spanish Caribbean

VERSO NEGRO: Black Verse Poetry of the Spanish Caribbean

    Price: $310.00

    Code: 1038

    Directed by Leita Luchetti and Ben Levin
    1999, 40 minutes
    Purchase: $310 Classroom Rental: $55

    Featuring poetry performances that often resemble contemporary rap, this film examines an important aspect of Afro-Caribbean cultural heritage. Verso Negro, originally written between the late Twenties and mid-Forties, was part of the worldwide literary movement that included the Harlem Renaissance. The poems spoke openly about racism and the beauty of African heritage in the Caribbean, and they were made widely popular by performers of poetry known as 'declamadores.' This film features Efraín Ortiz, a young contemporary 'declamadore' who performs-with musical back-up-many of the now classic Verso Negro poems and who is struggling to keep this tradition alive through his performances in neighborhoods, schools and festivals both in Puerto Rico and the mainland United States. The video also includes newly discovered archival footage as well as interviews with the acclaimed Puerto Rican cultural historian Don Ricardo Alegria and Brooklyn born poet Martin Espada.

    Subjects & Collections


    "Well-organized and easy to follow...Many of the ideas and poems presented will provide a springboard for classroom discussion and research…will be useful with classes studying Afro-Caribbean literature and culture" - School Library Journal