poem index

Piñero: The Movie

Year

2014

Piñero tells the life story of the poet-playwright-actor Miguel Piñero (1946-1988), played by Benjamin Bratt. After serving a sentence at the notorious Sing Sing prison, Piñero described his experiences in what became the 1975 Tony-award-winning play Short Eyes. Piñero and his friend Miguel Algarín founded the Nuyorican Poet's Café in New York City. However, the resulting notoriety and fame was too much for him to handle; Piñero eventually died of cirrhosis, and Algarín was left to carry out his friend's final wishes, described in an earlier poem:

Just once before I die
I want to climb up on a
tenement sky
to dream my lungs out till
I cry
then scatter my ashes thru
the Lower East Side.

Piñero's work includes La Bodega Sold Dreams (poetry) and Nuyorican Poetry: An Anthology of Puerto Rican Words and Feelings, the now-out-of-print anthology that he co-edited with Algarín.

Written and directed by Leon Ichaso (2001). Rated R.