Stephanie Agosto

2002 EP. NO. 3

STEPHANIE AGOSTO represents the new generation of activist poets.Hitting the poetry scene nearly a decade ago as a Spoken Word artist, Agosto has matured into the literary landscape in the tradition of the Nuyorican movement with a distinct Latina voice.

Agosto received her Associates degree from Queensborough Community College, and attended Hunter College. She established a career working in the medical field, and eventually worked for Dr. Louis E. Parrish, who created a facility for ancillary therapies for patients with chronic illness, which became one of the first prominent HIV/AIDS practice in New York City. Responsible for managing Dr. Parrish’s business, Agosto worked closely with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s office regarding legislation for the recognition of the important role of dietary supplements in America’s health care system, bill HR 1709. While working a full-time job, Agosto pursued her craft. She attended Film & Video Arts in New York City, studied Film Production and then went on to produce and host the poetry series, “Universal Beats,” a weekly series on Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN). The series featured interviews of community leaders and performances of spoken word artists such as: Councilman Jose Rivera, Congressman Jose Serrano, Efrain Suarez, Sandra Maria Esteves, Pedro Pietri and Jesús Papoleto Meléndez. Agosto also produced a 12-week poetry series at Alexis Café in New York City, which featured artists such as: Frank Perez, Lisa Muhammad, Bigga Black, Eve Packer, David Henderson, Eileen Reyes, among others.

As an activist, Agosto remains a dynamic force in the ongoing struggle for civil rights, cultural awareness and community activism. She has donated her time to a number of organizations, including Gathering of the Tribes, Wordquestra (Poets Choral), Shawangunk Correctional Facility, Caribbean Unity Org, Latinos en Progresso Org, and has worked at and volunteered time to Saint Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction Program. She currently does volunteer work at a battered women’s clinic in Florida.

As a writer, Agosto is committed to creating community. She not only uses her writing to carve out her own sense of identity, she also attempts to evoke similar responses in others. As a child of the Hip-Hop generation, Agosto’s foundation is in all things with a beat. Crisscrossing between poetry on the page and on the stage, she has managed to bridge her Puerto Rican heritage with African American culture and urban sensibility.

She has performed at numerous venues, including: Nuyorican Poets Café; The Julia de Burgos Cultural Center; Hope Community Garden; Boricua College; Gathering of the Tribes; The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center; Café Largo; Alexis Café; Aaron Davis Hall; Brooklyn Moon Café; Wordquestra; Sista’s Place; and Teachers and Writers Collaborative: Center for Imaginative Writing at New Paltz University. She appeared on phatLiterature, a Literary TV Program aired on QPTV and co-wrote with Michael Bynum, “phatLiterature’s theme song,” which she produced and performed. Agosto’s work, which has been published in the US as well as abroad in poetry compilations, anthologies, art books and periodicals, has been described as “a haunting blend of fire, pain, joy, unhealed wounds and ghetto awareness delivered passionately from the belly of social unrest brought to a community thirsting for historical truth to a beat.” As a poet-activist, producer and the mother of twin daughters, Agosto is a woman of great sensibility, rebellious spirit and exceptional intelligence. Her discomfort with social ills, her love for Puerto Rico, and her reoccupation with justice and death, all come out in the torrents of her poetry with its richly emotional metaphors.

Last updated 2009.

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