"Michael Somoroff is an artist in pursuit of spiritual progress—of beauty—of understanding–of love for humanity that begins with an understanding and love of self. Like every master before him, Somoroff's photographs are self-portraits, including the videos and still portraits he took of me reading from my books EMPIRE OF DREAMS and UNITED STATES OF BANANA," notes Giannina Braschi. "He understands that poetry is motion and that the poet is being."
Giannina Braschi is author of the modern poetry classic EMPIRE OF DREAMS, and the Spanglish tour de force novel YO-YO BOING!, and the explosive new collection UNITED STATES OF BANANA. These three titles are to be read as one epic work about the dynamics of oppression and liberation politically, philosophically, and aesthetically. Braschi's books are available in Spanish and English through AmazonCrossing for World Literature in Translation in paperback and Kindle. www.amazon.com/braschi
Defying boundaries between the poetic, the dramatic, and the philosophical, Giannina Braschi's work has received awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Danforth Scholarship, Ford Foundation, Reed Foundation, El Diario, InterAmericas, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, PEN American Center, and Rutgers University. She has a Ph.D. in the Spanish Golden Age and has taught at Rutgers, CUNY, and Colgate where she served as a distinguished writer in residence. She has published on the Spanish literary titans Cervantes, Garcilaso, Lorca, Bécquer, Machado, and Vallejo.
Literary critic Harold Augenbraum commented, "I have always admired Giannina Braschi's work for its daring: political, aesthetic, linguistic, and social. She understands that hyphenated culture brings unique and individuated results, which are so often undermined by a perceived need to pander to commonalities. UNITED STATES OF BANANA provokes the reader by transgressing genres and political boundaries. It thumbs its metaphorical nose at the conventions of immigrant and artistic passivity." Evergreen Review declared "Experimental, revolutionary and profoundly philosophical, UNITED STATES OF BANANA is to be read as The Waste Land of the 21st Century."