Puerto Rican Poet/Writer Piri Thomas Suffers Stroke

Update: April 20,2008

Got an important email from Capicu Poetry today regarding Piri Thomas which I am going to publish here so as to pass on the information. here it is:

As many of you may already know, Author Piri Thomas recently suffered a stroke and is currently doing well in recovery. We had an opportunity just before this happened to have him as a guest of the Capicu Poetry show so that we could pay tribute to him via performances by many people he inspired. At the end of the night, he blessed us with his words and made the night unforgettable.

Now we have an opportunity to inspire him and lift his spirits with our words. Over the past few weeks we have received many emails and phone calls to our Capicu Community Hot line of people wishing Piri well. We are going to make this available to Piri in CD format.

We are going to host a tribute to Piri Thomas on Radio Capicu this Wednesday April 23rd. We will be sharing some of Piri’s work, reflecting on his legacy and taking your calls so that your words can help him in the healing process.

The show will run 2 hours and all calls taken will be live.

This will be the last opportunity to be included in this “audio” get well card. We want to make sure he gets it before his 80th Birthday.

To Tune in to the show…

Log in to Radio Capicu by visiting www.BlogTalkRadio.com/RadioCapicu

Again the details for calling in to the show are….
Date: Wednesday April 23rd, 2008
Time:  9:00 PM – 11:00pm (eastern standard time)
Call-in Number: (646) 716-7745
Show description: Hosted by The Urban Jibaro & The Guy, this show will be dedicated to Nuyorican legend Piri Thomas, author of “Down These Mean Streets”. We will revisit his legacy, listen to his words and share stories of inspiration in the hope that our listeners and his fans can lift his spirits as he recovers from a stroke.
If his words ever touched you…spend this time sharing your voice with him.
Special guest hosts: Papo Swiggity & Latyn Jazz
Contact Info
Email:CapicuPoetry@gmail.com
Website:www.CapicuPoetry.com ; myspace.com/capicupoetry
Phone:(208) 723-5966 (Community Hotline)
City/Town: Brooklyn, NY

Poems Y Poemas A Night of Latin Verse

Piri Thomas

Puerto Rican poet and writer, Piri Thomas, best known for his depiction of barrio survival in Down These Mean Streets, suffered a stroke.

The 79 year old author is recovering in his now home of California.
Capicu Poetry is compiling email and audio messages to send to the poet, to serve as a source of strength for Piri, since he has been a source of strength to countless Latinos (and others).
If you want to send Piri Thomas a get well message please email CapicuPoetry@gmail.com or call their community hotline (208) 723-5966.
Down These Mean Streets is the autobiography of Piri Thomas, a Latino of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent who grew up in El Barrio (aka Spanish Harlem), a section of Harlem that has a large Puerto Rican population. In the book, we watch Piri as he goes through the first few decades of his life, lives in poverty, joins and fights with street gangs, faces racism (in both New York and the South), suffers through heroin addiction, gets involved in crime, and ends up in prison.
Down These Mean Streets reads similarly to The Autobiography of Malcolm X in that both books are vivid, brutally honest memoirs of experiences of racial prejudice and discrimination, identity formation, and youthful involvement with crime that leads to life-altering prison experiences. One of the major themes of Down These Mean Streets centers on Piri Thomas’s identity as a dark-complected Afro-Latino. Although he is of Puerto Rican and Cuban heritage, the larger American society takes him for African-American and fails to recognize him as Latino. His own family rejects the African aspect of their Latin-Caribbean ancestry, causing Piri to spend much of his adolescent and early adult life contemplating his racial and ethnic identity.
Down These Mean Streets has either been banned or has risked banning attempts in Salinas, CA; Teaneck, NJ; Darien, CT; District 25 in Queens, NYC, NY; and in Long Island, NY.
The book was originally published in 1967, and later republished in a special Thirtieth Anniversary Edition in 1997, with a new afterword from the author. A sequel was made, called 7 Long Times, which gives more depth to his prison years.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Down_These_Mean_Streets

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5 Responses to “Puerto Rican Poet/Writer Piri Thomas Suffers Stroke”

  1. isaac garcia Says:

    piri, so sad to hear about your stroke, damn, hope you’re on your way back. i first read your back 67, now i have the 30th ann. on. i’m also puerto rican born & raised in spanish harlem, 105th st. & 1st ave. as read your book i remember the spots you mentioned, man those my old stomping grounds. 103 & 105, 110 sts are still in my heart. although i left over 30 yrs. ago, still have some familia y mis panas there. today i’m married for 34 yrs living in oregon, very small town, talk about culture shock. i graduated from long beach st. a few yrs back now teaching high school, can you believe from j h s 99 on 1st ave to college grad ? i just thought i would let you know that you inspired me, gracias y que dios te bendiga, un boricua al otro

  2. Electric Burner Says:

    i always search the internet for free essays, there are many sites that shares some free essays “-:

  3. Santa McDowell Says:

    Ok, here goes and I hope if I have any tipos no one will judge me because I do have a tumor on the left side of my head AND IT CAUSES ME TO TYPE WRONG. this tumor must be removed. I am a Puerto Rican woman and I am a woman of 55 years of age and am disabled, my telephone number is (973 720-9701. First of all let me state for the record that on Valentines Day February 14, 2011 we celebrated being married 35 years. It was at this time that I found out about this tumor. I had to be transported to Valley Hospital via ambulance because I fell and hit my head and I was bleeding according to my husband who was with me at the time. If not for falling I never would have known that I had a brain tumor on left side of my head. The technician at Valley Hospital walked into the ER and stated to me maybe the vertigo attacks are due to you having a brain tumor on left side of your head. On tueday February 22nd 2011, I had an MRI of my head and Dr.Joel Lehrer located at 44 godwin Ave. Midland Park, NJ (201) 445-2900 was on the telephone with me telling me that it was true. I have a meningioma not an acoustic neuroma like we thought. I made an appointment to see Dr. scrimenti a neurologist in mahwah NJ his telephone number is 201 818 9100. His location is at 400 Franklin Turnpike Mahwah, NJ. Then I guess the surgery will take place after that. I am scared really scared of this tumor and it’s removal. Saw neurologist who said tumor must come out. So it’s coming out. So very sorry to hear about him suffering a stroke. He examined my manuscript years ago and we talked via phone.

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