Sandra María Esteves

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Sandra María Esteves
The Bronx, New York
OccupationPoet, Visual Artist
Literary movementNuyorican
Notable worksYerba Buena, Tropical Rain, Bluestown Mockingbird Mambo

Sandra María Esteves is an American poet and graphic artist. She was born and raised in the Bronx, New York, and is one of the founders of the Nuyorican poetry movement. She has published numerous collections of poetry and has conducted literary programs at organizations including the New York City Board of Education, the Caribbean Cultural Center and El Museo del Barrio. She lives in New York City.


Self-described "Puerto RicanDominican – Borinqueña – Quisqueyana – TaínoAfricana," Esteves was born in the South Bronx of Puerto Rican and Dominican parents [1][2][3] Her early education was in a Catholic boarding school where she experienced traumatic anti-Hispanic prejudice that caused her to switch languages from Spanish to English-dominant. After she graduated from high school, she attended New York's Pratt Institute, where she studied fine arts, film, art education and creative writing. Called the Godmother of Nuyorican Poetry, Esteves is one of the founding poets of the Nuyorican Poetry Movement. She has closely been associated with the poets of the Nuyorican Poets Café and was one of the few women involved with this group in the 1970s and 1980s.



  • DivaNations, a cappella spoken-word audio CD (self-published, 2010).
  • Wildflowers, a cappella spoken-word audio CD (self-published, 2009).
  • Portal, (Limited Editions Press/self-published, 2007).
  • Poems In Concert (Air Loom Publications/self-published, 2006).
  • Finding Your Way, Poems for Young Folks; (No Frills Publications/self-published, 1999).
  • Contrapunto In The Open Field; (No Frills Publications/self-published, 1998).
  • Undelivered Love Poems; (No Frills Publications/self-published, 1997).
  • Bluestown Mockingbird Mambo; (Arte Público Press/University of Houston, 1990); ISBN 1-55885-017-1.
  • Tropical Rain: A Bilingual Downpour; (African Caribbean Poetry Theater/self-published, 1984).
  • Yerba Buena Poems & Drawings; (Greenfield Review Press, 1980); ISBN 0-912678-47-X. Selected Best Small Press, 1981 by the Library Journal.

Selected Poems in Anthologies, Literary Journals and Web sites

  • Breaking Ground Anthology of Puerto Rican Women Writers In New York 1980-2012, Ed. by Myrna Nieves (Editorial Campana, 2012) ISBN 978-1-934370-16-2.
  • Bullying: Replies, Rebuttals, Confessions, & Catharsis: An Intergenerational & Multicultural Anthology, Ed. by Magdalena Gomex & María Luisa Arroyo (Skyhorse Publishing, 2012) ASIN B009CROKNK.
  • The Afro-Latin@ Reader, History and Culture In the United States, Ed. by Miriam Jiménez and Juan Flores (Duke University Press, 2010) ISBN 978-0-8223-4572-5.
  • Let Loose On the World: Celebrating Amiri Baraka at 75 (The Amiri Baraka Commemoration Committee, 2009).
  • Drumvoices Revue, Spring/Summer/Fall 2008, Vol. 16, ISSN 1080-0522, ISBN 978-1-880748-65-7.
  • Puerto Rican Poetry, Ed. by Roberto Márquez (University of Massachusetts Press, 2007) ISBN 978-1-55849-562-3.
  • African Voices, Fall/Winter 2007, Vol. 12, Issue 23 ISSN 1530-0668.
  • 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, Ed. by John S. Christie and José B. Bonzalez (Pearson Education, Inc., 2006) ISBN 0-321-09383-6.
  • Storyworks, Vol. 13 No. 2, October 2005 (Scholastic, 2005) ISSN 1068-0292.
  • The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Vol E, Contemporary Period 1945 to the Present, Ed. by Paul Lauter (Houghton Mifflin Co., 2006) ISBN 0-618-53301-X.
  • Red Hot Salsa, Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States, Ed. by Lori Marie Carlson (Henry Holt & Co., 2005) ISBN 978-0-8050-7616-5, ISBN 0-8050-7616-6.
  • U.S. Latino Literature Today, Ed. by Gabriela Baeza Ventura (Pearson Education, Inc., 2005) ISBN 0-321-19843-3.
  • Approaching Literature in the 21st Century, Ed. by Peter Schakel & Jack Ridl (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005) ISBN 0-312-40756-4; EAN: 978-0-312-40756-8.
  • Puerto Rican Music and Dance: RicanStructing Roots/Routes, Part II; Centro Journal Vol. XVI, No. 2 (Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, Hunter College/City University of New York, 2004) ISSN 1538-6279, ISBN 1-878483-73-0.
  • Latino Studies Journal, Vol. 2, Issue 2, Ed. by Suzanne Oboler (Univ. of Ill. at Chicago/, 2004).
  • Essence Magazine Vol.35, No. 1: Mothers and Daughters May 2004.
  • Riding Low on the Streets of Gold, Latino Literature for Young Adults, Ed. by Judith Ortiz Cofer (Piñata Books/Arte Público Press/University of Houston, 2003) ISBN 1-55885-380-4.
  • Latino/a Literature in the English Classroom; Ed. by Manuel Hernández (Editorial Plaza Mayor; San Juan, PR, 2003) ISBN 1-56328-249-6.
  • LandEscapes, Ed. by Lee M. McGuire (Washington State University, 2003).
  • Almost a Woman web site for ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theater American Collection (WGBH Boston, 2002).
  • Herencia: The Anthology of Hispanic Literature of the United States, Ed. by Nicolás Kanellos (Oxford University Press, Inc., 2002) ISBN 0-19-513824-4.
  • The Prentice Hall Anthology of Latino Literature, Ed. by Eduardo del Rio (Prentice Hall/Pearson Education Inc., 2002) ISBN 0-13-026687-6.
  • Bum Rush the Page, Ed. by Tony Medina and Louis Reyes Rivera (Three Rivers Press/Crown Publishing Group/Random House Inc., 2001) ISBN 0-609-80840-0.
  • Glencoe Literature, The Reader’s Choice: American Literature, (Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2000).
  • The Floating Borderlands, Twenty-five Years of U. S. Hispanic Literature, Ed. by Lauro Flores (University of Washington Press, 1998) ISBN 0-295-97746-9.
  • Hispanic American Literature, Ed. by Rodolfo Cortina (NTC Publishing Co., 1998) ISBN 0-8442-5730-3.
  • Long Shot, Vol. 20, (Long Shot Productions, Inc., 1998) ISSN 0895-9773.
  • El Coro, A Chorus of Latino/Latina Literature, Ed. by Martín Espada (Univ. of Massachusetts Press, 1997) ISBN 1-55849-110-4.
  • Growing Up Bilingual Ed. by Ana Celia Zentella (Blackwell Pub., 1997) ISBN 1-55786-407-1.
  • The Hispanic Literary Companion; Ed. by Nicolás Kanellos (Visible Ink Press, 1997) ISBN 0-7876-1014-3.
  • Tiempo De Marejada, Imagen Poetica Del Siglo XX; Ed. by Manuel De La Puebla (Ediciones Mairena; San Juan, PR, 1997) ISBN 1-881708-14-4.
  • In Defense of Mumia; Ed. by Sam Anderson and Tony Medina (Writers and Readers Publishing, Inc., 1996) ISBN 0-86316-099-9.
  • Tercer Milenio, Revista de Literatura, Año III, No. 1, Ed. by Pedro López Adorno (Tecer Milenio, Inc., 1996) ISSN 1075-0967.
  • Hispanic American Literature, A Brief Introduction and Anthology, Ed. by Nicolás Kanellos (Harper Collins College Publishers, 1995) ISBN 0-673-46956-5.
  • Not Black and White, Inside Words From The Bronx WritersCorps (Plain View Press, 1995) ISBN 0-911051-83-X.
  • Paper Dance, 55 Latino Poets, Ed. by Victor Hernandez Cruz, Leroy V. Quintana and Virgil Suarez (Persea Books, 1995) ISBN 0-89255-201-8.
  • Boricuas, Ed. by Roberto Santiago (Ballantine Books/Random House, Inc., 1995) ISBN 0-345-39502-6.
  • PoeSIDA, (Ollantay Press, 1995) ISBN 0-9625127-4-5.
  • In Other Words, Literature by Latinas of the United States, Ed. by Roberta Fernandez (Arte Público Press/University of Houston, 1994) ISBN 1-55885-110-0.
  • Stone On Stone, Piedra Sobre Piedra, Ed. by Zoe Anglesey (Open Hand Publishing, 1994) ISBN 0-940880-48-2.
  • Unsettling America, An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry, Ed. by Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Jennifer Gillan (Penguin Books, 1994) ISBN 0-14-023778-X.
  • Aloud, Voices From The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Ed. by Miguel Algarin and Bob Holman (Henry Holt and Company, 1994) ISBN 0-8050-3275-4.
  • Here Is My Kingdom, Hispanic-American Literature and Art for Young People, Ed. by Charles Sullivan (Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1994) ISBN 0-8109-3422-1.
  • Latino Poetry (Globe Fearon Educational Publisher, 1994) ISBN 0-8359-0726-0.
  • The Many Worlds of Literature, Ed. by Stuart Hirschberg (Macmillan Publishing Company, 1994); ISBN 0-02-355082-1.
  • Hear My Voice, Ed. by Laurie King (Addison-Wesley’s Alternative Publishing Group, 1994) ISBN 978-0-201-81841-3.
  • Long Shot, Vol. 15, (Long Shot Prod., 1993) ISSN 0895-9773.
  • Papiros De Babel: Anthology of Puerto Rican Poetry in New York, Ed. by Pedro López Adorno (Univ. of Puerto Rico/Río Piedras, 1991).
  • Puerto Rican Writers at Home in the USA, Ed. by Faythe Turner (Open Hand Publishing Inc., 1991).
  • New Rain; Vol. 7 & 8, Ed. by Judy Simmons (Blind Beggar Press Inc., 1990).
  • Taller Alma Boricua, Reflecting on 20 Years of the Puerto Rican Workshop ’69-89, (El Museo del Barrio, 1990).
  • Hanging Loose 52, (Hanging Loose Press, 1988).
  • Centro Boletín, Spring 1988, (Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños/Hunter College/CUNY, 1988).
  • Blackworld, Vol . X VII, No. 2 (University at Stony Brook, SUNY, 1988).
  • Woman of Her Word, Hispanic Women Write, (Arte Público Press/University of Houston; Houston, TX; 1987).
  • Lluvia Sobre La Isla, (Casa De Las Américas, Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba, 1987).
  • Conditions: Fourteen, (Conditions, 1987).
  • Art Against Apartheid: Works For Freedom, (IKON Inc., 1986).
  • Breaking, (Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños/Hunter College/CUNY, 1985).
  • Hispanics In the U.S.A., (Denmarks Radio, 1984).
  • Areito, Vol. 8 No. 29, (Ediciones Vitral, 1982).
  • Third Woman, Vol. 1, No. 2, (Third Woman Press/Chicano-Riqueño Studies/Indiana University, 1982).
  • Leaving the Bough, (International Publishers, 1982).
  • A Decade of Hispanic Literature, (Revista Chicano-Riqueña/University of Houston, 1982).
  • Antología de la Poesia de la Mujer Puertorriqueña, (Peninsula Publishing Co., 1981) ISBN 0-916312-08-9.
  • Bronx Roots, Vol. 1, (Bronx Poets & Writers Alliance/Bronx Council on the Arts, 1981).
  • New Rain, Vol. 1 (Blind Beggar Press, 1981).
  • Herejes y mitificadores, (Ediciones Huracán, 1980).
  • Words To Go, (Cultural Council Foundation/CETA Artist Project, 1980).
  • Sunbury, 9, (Sunbury Press, 1980).
  • Chiricú, (Chicano-Riqueño Studies/Indiana University, 1980).
  • Vortice: Literatura, Arte y Critica, Vol. 2, No. 2-3, (Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese/Stanford Univ., 1979).
  • Revista Chicano-Riqueña, Año 7, No. 2, (Indiana University Northwest, 1979).
  • Afro Realism, (MenWem Press, 1979).
  • Hispanic Arts, No. 13, (Association of Hispanic Arts, 1979).
  • Chrysalis, No. 7 1979.
  • New York State Waterways Project, Vol. 1, No. 9, (Ten Penny Players, 1979).
  • Heresies: Third World Women, Vol. 2, No. 4, Issue 8, (1979).
  • Maintrend, No.3, (Anti-Imperialist Cultural Union, 1979).
  • Womanrise, (Shamal Books, 1978).
  • Ordinary Women, (Ordinary Women Press, 1978).
  • The Next World, Ed. by Joseph Bruchac (The Crossing Press, 1978).
  • Conditions: Three, (Conditions, 1978).
  • Sunbury, 4, (Sunbury Press, 1976).
  • Shantih, Vol.3, No. 3, (Shantih, 1975).
  • Journal of Contemporary Puerto Rican Thought, (Midwest Institute of Puerto Rican Studies and Culture, 1975).
  • Nuyorican Poetry, (William Morrow & Co., 1975).
  • Sunbury, 2, (Sunbury Press, 1974).
  • El Grupo: Canciones Y Poesia (LP recording) (Disco Canto Libre, 1974).


  • Featured Author, Until We Win; Pregones Theater; Bronx, NY; 2011, 2010.
  • Featured Poet in Concert with the Ibrahim González Trio: :
- Mandalas & Metaphors; Westfield State University Downtown Arts Gallery; 2011.
- DivaNations, Nuyorican Poets Café; 2010.
- Ovations School of Humanities & Social Sciences/Springfield Technical Community College, 2007.
  • Featured Performer, Nuyorican Poet: Sandra María Esteves, Nuyorican Poets Café, 2009.
  • Director/Producer, Latina Voices Visible in The Light, Challenge & Vision Productions, 2004
  • Production Director, Bringing Down the Moon/Millenium Goddess Spoken Word Ensemble, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 1999.
  • Production Director, Women In Prison: Our Sistas, Ourselves; Medgar Evers College/International Working Women’s Day Committee, 1998
  • Poetry Production Director, For Mumia, An Evening of Poetry and Jazz (poets’ choral in performance) Felipe Luciano’s Wordchestra at Aaron Davis Hall/The NY Coalition to Free Mumia Abu Jamal, 1997
  • Producer/Executive Director, African Caribbean Poetry Theater, 1983-1990: :
- Director/Producer, Rose In Spanish Harlem, 1988.
- Producer, First Class by Candido Tirado (full-length equity showcase stage play), 1987.
- Producer, Accession, 1987. – Producer, Purple Paradise, 1986.
- Producer, Impact (full-length, equity showcase stage play), 1986.
- Producer/Creator, Grito de Lares, a bilingual multi-media poetry anthology (equity showcase); 1986, 1984.
- Producer, American Poets and Play Reading Series at Invisible Performance Workshop, 1986.
- Producer, Sweet Stuff (full-length, equity showcase stage play), 1985.
- Producer, Hakim (one-act, stage play touring production), 1986.
  • Poetry Series Director, Voices From The Belly Poetry Series at Galeria Moríviví; 1983, 1982, 1980.
  • Poetry Series Director/Coordinator, New Rican Village Poetry Series, 1978.
  • Contributing Poet, The Ones; The Cultural Council Foundation, CETA Artist Project at Innerspace/Outerspace Mobile Theater/Triangle Theater/Long Island University; 1978.
  • Resident-Scriptwriter and Artistic Consultant, The Steve Cannon Show (soap opera), 1978.
  • Co-Author/Producer, La Cura: A Ritual of Healing & Feeling, (multi-media dramatization with poetry, music and dance); 1976-1978.
  • Contributing Author, Maria Cristina (poetic dramatization in dance); Conferencia Internaclonal de Solidaridad Con La Independencia De Puerto Rico; Consejo Nacional De Cultura/Ballet Nacional De Cuba; La Habana, Cuba; 1975.


Esteves received her first poetry fellowship in 1980 from New York State CAPS. In 2010, she received a prestigious NEA Master Artist Award from Pregones Theater.

  • Pleneros De La 21 Master Artist Award; 2012.
  • Pregones Theater/NEA Master Artist Award; 2010.
  • Con Tinta Award; Acentos Poetry Collective/Associated Writing Programs; New York, NY; 2008.
  • Poet, Universes Poetic Theater Ensemble Company 10th Anniversary; New York, NY; 2006.
  • The Owen Vincent Dodson Memorial Award For Poetry; Blind Beggar Press; 2002.
  • Arts Review 2001 Honoree; Bronx Council on the Arts; 2001.
  • The Louis Reyes Rivera Lifetime Achievement Award; La Causa/Amherst College; 2000.
  • Premios Culturales Julia de. Burgos; Centro Cultural Puertorriqueño de Nueva York; 1998.
  • Proclamation from the Mayor of the City of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico; 1998.
  • Outstanding Achievement; Latino Task Force/University of Michigan; 1996.
  • Outstanding Achievement; LASO/John Jay College of Criminal Justice; 1995.
  • Edgar Allan Poe Literary Award; Bronx Historical Society; 1992.
  • Outstanding Achievement in the Latino Community; Herencia Latina, New York University; 1991.
  • Poetry Fellowship; New York Foundation for the Arts; 1985.
  • Best Small Press Publication 1981 (for Yerba Buena), Library Journal; 1981.
  • Poetry Fellowship; New York State CAPS; 1980.
  • Pope Generoso Memorial Scholarship, Cardinal Spellman High School; 1966.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ PBS. "Puerto Rican Poetry". Retrieved July 30, 2009.
  2. ^ Acosta Belén, Edna. "Puerto Rican Diaspora: Esteves, Sandra María". Encyclopedia of Puerto Rico. Retrieved July 30, 2009.
  3. ^ Estill, Adriana. "Sandra María Esteves." In Latino and Latina Writers (vol. 2), ed. Alan West Duran, 873-883. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2004. ISBN 0-684-31295-6

External links[edit]