Andino Styles

Artist and Writer

Filtering by Tag: Nuyorican Poets Cafe

The Writing Artist- Sandra Maria Estevez

Boy With Glass by Sandra Maria Estevez

My writing artist choice for today is Dominican and Boricua poet, producer, teacher and painter Sandra Maria Estevez. She is known as the “Godmother of Nuyorican Poetry” and has authored several poetry collections, spoken word CD’s and plays. Estevez studied at Pratt Institute with majors in Creative Writing, Fine Art, Film and Art Education. Her involvement with the Nuyorican Poets Café in the 1970’s and 1980’s made her one of the few women poets there at the time. She has presented work at the Kennedy Center, The Public Theater and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Her poetry has been featured in numerous anthologies including The Afro- Latin@ Reader, History and Culture in the United States, Aloud, Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and Breaking Ground Anthology of Puerto Rican Women Writers in New York. Estevez continues to give of her talents by teaching creative writing workshops in the New York City area. You can follow her work at

Below is her poem titled On the Island Where I Find You

Waterplant by Window by Sandra Maria Estevez


On the Island Where I Find You


I didn’t think you’d be in Yauco

I began looking on the beaches in Joyuda

Healed myself in the charcos of Aguadilla

Watched waves splashing high against the sea wall

Harvested seaweed treasures in the shallows

Followed crabs into their wet rocky holes

Hoping you would appear somewhere to find me

Waited in the heights of Mayaguez

Toasting intellectual rum and cokes

Among tamarindo and mango gardens

Rushed the long Sunday drive to Boqueron

Plowed through miles of virgin beach

Could feel you in the water embracing my skin

Climbed El Faro’s lighthouse in Rincón

Bought expensive tourist trinkets

But what I really wanted wasn’t on the shelves

Worked my way back up the coast to Aguada

Stopped through island towns along the way

Sat under pana trees in their small plazas

As pitirres jumped across the branches

Ate swordfish cooked like sabroso bistec

Peered into faces driving compac cars

As if I had x-ray vision.

None of them were you

Each journey’s turn building anticipation

Wishing miracles would come true

At night, under canopy of a million starlights

I saw chickens roosting on thick guava branches

Listened to the cricket family symphony

Lull me into precious sleep

And in my dreams I saw you climbing stairs

Sharing stories about campo pueblo mountains

You held my empty hands I kissed your canela face

As you led me home into your house of light.

© Sandra María Esteves

Glass Vase White Flowers by Sandra Maria Estevez

~ Nia Andino ~

In Defense of Glitter and Rainbows

In Defense Of Glitter and Rainbows

Honored to have been commissioned for the artwork of this play In Defense of Glitter and Rainbows by Viviann "True" Rodriguez. Get your tickets for this performance showing at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe on May 9th.

“In Defense of Glitter and Rainbows” is a lyrical and dynamic coming of age story about a teenage girl and her mother learning the power of connection and reconciliation. Drawing strength from a present of painful memory, a brilliant and vibrant future, and the value of truth shared between generations of women to prepare them for life. We learn of the resplendent and visceral legacies that we are a part of, and the spiritual ties we have to loved ones lost.

Told though the power of verse and movement while serenaded by the haunting voice of Billie Holiday, we relearn the intimacy and empowerment of the bond shared between mother and daughter."

Directed by Entertainer Buttaflysoul 
Choreography by Keomi Tarver 
Written and produced by True

Tickets may be purchased at:

~ Nia Andino ~

Andino Styles © 2016