Wintersalen Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Tour our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Original Essays | September 18, 2014

    Lin Enger: IMG Knowing vs. Knowing



    On a hot July evening years ago, my Toyota Tercel overheated on a flat stretch of highway north of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A steam geyser shot up from... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$19.95
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
13 Remote Warehouse Literature- A to Z
2 Remote Warehouse Poetry- A to Z

Outlaw: The Collected Works of Miguel Pinero

by

Outlaw: The Collected Works of Miguel Pinero Cover

 

Staff Pick

Twenty-two years after his death, the collected writings of the great Miguel Piñero are finally back in print. Best known for his award-winning play Short Eyes, the influential Nuyorican poet, playwright, and actor had a short yet remarkable life. Emigrating from his native Puerto Rico to Manhattan's Lower East Side (Loisaida) when he was four, much of Piñero's life was marked by repeated criminal convictions (his first coming at the age of 11). By his mid 20s, Piñero had served prison time for armed robbery and drug offenses, and, in 1972, while held at Sing Sing correctional facility, he wrote his first poem. As a participant of a writing workshop during his incarceration, he wrote Short Eyes, an unabashed and powerful drama about prison life and inmate hierarchy, though would not see it performed in a proper theater until the year after he was paroled in 1973. Short Eyes would go on to a Broadway stage and garner numerous accolades including six Tony nominations, an Obie award, and a New York Critics' Circle Award for best American play.

Outlaw: The Collected Works of Miguel Piñero is a gorgeous volume compiling all of the late writer's literary output. In addition to the 18 poems that comprised his sole poetry collection, La Bodega Sold Dreams, Outlaw features 20 previously unpublished poems (a dozen from the Bodega cycle, as well as eight others). Each of the 10 plays Piñero completed before succumbing to cirrhosis in 1988 are also included herein (Short Eyes, the three works originally featured in The Sun Always Shines for the Cool, and the six short pieces found in Outrageous One-Act Plays). For those unfamiliar with Piñero's writing or the often contrasting complexities of his life, two outstanding introductory essays (one on his drama, the other on his poetry) provide a scholarly context to the thematic elements and cultural relevance of his work.

Although Piñero's oeuvre may seem, to some, too small to warrant serious attention, his influence on Hispanic drama and poetry cannot be understated. Employing densely idiomatic language to illustrate a subculture alien to many (if not most), Piñero's writing is startlingly honest and astute, surely anything but subtle. His poems and plays convey the grittiness of urban living (rife with the drugs, crime, sex, prostitutes, pimps, and violence he knew all too well) with an unapologetic clarity that would make many a high-class, insular city dweller entirely uncomfortable. His work deftly considers the hazards, hypocrisies, temptations, exploitations, offenses, affronts, and indignities that he and other marginalized individuals are forced to endure on a daily basis. The shimmering opulence of Manhattan may not have reflected quite as far as the Lower East Side, but its degrading and demeaning aftereffects surely did. Piñero was more documentarian than activist, and his helplessness in the face of oppression (be it racism, capitalism, the prison system, etc.) did little to stifle his creative charge. As a chronicler of the street life that claimed so many, Piñero's writing stands as refutation of a society that so effortlessly sweeps so many to the gutter. Although much of Piñero's work is bold and provocative, his anger and frustration never seem all-consuming, even yielding to unexpected moments of humor and empathy.

That a young, Puerto Rican thief, junkie, and ex-convict went from maximum security prison to award-winning playwright and Guggenheim Fellowship recipient is itself an intriguing drama. As the definitive biographical account of his life has yet to be written, this collection must serve as the sole evidence of the brilliant, tragic, and troubled talent that was Miguel "Mikey" Piñero. Outlaw is a long overdue and much-deserved collection, one that shall rightly allow the import and intensity of his creativity to endure.

From the afterword:

From Francois Villon to Jean Genet, Miguel belongs to a tradition of writers whose devious and renegade lives paradoxically result in the most painstaking devotion to the truth and rigor of their craft. All dramatists of real value must sooner or later confront what for them is truly dangerous, either within themselves or in the outside world. That we the audience feel that danger and understand something of what it is about is often what makes a play important and durable. If the life of Miguel seems illusive and troubling, one can only applaud what is so candidly engaged here by his art, where very little is stolen or borrowed and a great deal is revealed. In this sense Miguel Piñero is as blessed and as straight a writer as they come. —Joseph Papp

Recommended by Jeremy, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Part observer, part participant in the turbulent goings-on in his Nuyorican barrio, Miguel Pinero blasted onto the literary scene and made waves in the artistic current with his dramatic interpretations of his world through experimental poetry, prose, and plays. Portrayed by actor Benjamin Bratt in the 2001 feature film Pinero, the poet's works are as rough and gritty as the New York City underworld he loved. His depictions of pimp bars, drug addiction, prison culture and outlaw life astound the faint-hearted.

This long-awaited collection includes previously published and never-before-published poems; ten plays, including Short Eyes, which was later made into a film and won the 1973-1974 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best American Play, and The Sun Always Shines for the Cool.

A co-founder of the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe, Pinero left behind a legacy of work that reveal the harsh, impoverished lives of his urban Puerto Rican community.

Synopsis:

A collection of impassioned writings by a celebrated poet, playwright, and rebel

Product Details

ISBN:
9781558856066
Author:
Pinero, Miguel
Publisher:
Arte Publico Press
Editor:
Kanellos, Nicols
Author:
Piero, Miguel
Subject:
General
Subject:
Inner cities -- New York (State) -- New York.
Subject:
Puerto Ricans -- New York (State) -- New York.
Subject:
Caribbean & Latin American
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Publication Date:
20101231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
416

Other books you might like

  1. I Remember Nothing: And Other...
    Used Hardcover $4.95

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Plays
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

Outlaw: The Collected Works of Miguel Pinero New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$19.95 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Arte Publico Press - English 9781558856066 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Twenty-two years after his death, the collected writings of the great Miguel Piñero are finally back in print. Best known for his award-winning play Short Eyes, the influential Nuyorican poet, playwright, and actor had a short yet remarkable life. Emigrating from his native Puerto Rico to Manhattan's Lower East Side (Loisaida) when he was four, much of Piñero's life was marked by repeated criminal convictions (his first coming at the age of 11). By his mid 20s, Piñero had served prison time for armed robbery and drug offenses, and, in 1972, while held at Sing Sing correctional facility, he wrote his first poem. As a participant of a writing workshop during his incarceration, he wrote Short Eyes, an unabashed and powerful drama about prison life and inmate hierarchy, though would not see it performed in a proper theater until the year after he was paroled in 1973. Short Eyes would go on to a Broadway stage and garner numerous accolades including six Tony nominations, an Obie award, and a New York Critics' Circle Award for best American play.

Outlaw: The Collected Works of Miguel Piñero is a gorgeous volume compiling all of the late writer's literary output. In addition to the 18 poems that comprised his sole poetry collection, La Bodega Sold Dreams, Outlaw features 20 previously unpublished poems (a dozen from the Bodega cycle, as well as eight others). Each of the 10 plays Piñero completed before succumbing to cirrhosis in 1988 are also included herein (Short Eyes, the three works originally featured in The Sun Always Shines for the Cool, and the six short pieces found in Outrageous One-Act Plays). For those unfamiliar with Piñero's writing or the often contrasting complexities of his life, two outstanding introductory essays (one on his drama, the other on his poetry) provide a scholarly context to the thematic elements and cultural relevance of his work.

Although Piñero's oeuvre may seem, to some, too small to warrant serious attention, his influence on Hispanic drama and poetry cannot be understated. Employing densely idiomatic language to illustrate a subculture alien to many (if not most), Piñero's writing is startlingly honest and astute, surely anything but subtle. His poems and plays convey the grittiness of urban living (rife with the drugs, crime, sex, prostitutes, pimps, and violence he knew all too well) with an unapologetic clarity that would make many a high-class, insular city dweller entirely uncomfortable. His work deftly considers the hazards, hypocrisies, temptations, exploitations, offenses, affronts, and indignities that he and other marginalized individuals are forced to endure on a daily basis. The shimmering opulence of Manhattan may not have reflected quite as far as the Lower East Side, but its degrading and demeaning aftereffects surely did. Piñero was more documentarian than activist, and his helplessness in the face of oppression (be it racism, capitalism, the prison system, etc.) did little to stifle his creative charge. As a chronicler of the street life that claimed so many, Piñero's writing stands as refutation of a society that so effortlessly sweeps so many to the gutter. Although much of Piñero's work is bold and provocative, his anger and frustration never seem all-consuming, even yielding to unexpected moments of humor and empathy.

That a young, Puerto Rican thief, junkie, and ex-convict went from maximum security prison to award-winning playwright and Guggenheim Fellowship recipient is itself an intriguing drama. As the definitive biographical account of his life has yet to be written, this collection must serve as the sole evidence of the brilliant, tragic, and troubled talent that was Miguel "Mikey" Piñero. Outlaw is a long overdue and much-deserved collection, one that shall rightly allow the import and intensity of his creativity to endure.

From the afterword:

From Francois Villon to Jean Genet, Miguel belongs to a tradition of writers whose devious and renegade lives paradoxically result in the most painstaking devotion to the truth and rigor of their craft. All dramatists of real value must sooner or later confront what for them is truly dangerous, either within themselves or in the outside world. That we the audience feel that danger and understand something of what it is about is often what makes a play important and durable. If the life of Miguel seems illusive and troubling, one can only applaud what is so candidly engaged here by his art, where very little is stolen or borrowed and a great deal is revealed. In this sense Miguel Piñero is as blessed and as straight a writer as they come. —Joseph Papp

"Synopsis" by , A collection of impassioned writings by a celebrated poet, playwright, and rebel
spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.