Alberto O. CAPPAS
(Harlem Prep graduate, Class of 1966
Dedicated to our Children and Youth)
pledge to maintain
healthy mind and body,
away from the evil of drugs.
I pledge always to try my best to understand
importance of knowledge and education,
a positive picture of where
plan to be tomorrow,
allowing obstacles to stop the growth
my plans for the future.
I pledge to seek answers to questions,
that the answers to questions
lead to other discoveries.
I pledge to work hard,
the awareness and confidence
hard work today will serve
the seeds for my strong tree tomorrow,
tree no one will ever be able to tear down.
I pledge to learn proper languages,
with my mother's,
prepared to appreciate others.
I pledge to gain a better understanding
understanding my cultural roots,
fully accept who I am as a human being,
rainbow of many cultures and colors.
pledge to overcome any personal misfortunes,
striving to become
Pledge: Dedicated to our children and Youth",
by Alberto O Cappas, is dedicated to children and
youth, especially students enrolled in the inner city
Mon, 21 Apr 2003 01:12:46 EDT
Subject: Submission: Bio and poetry of Alberto O. Cappas
Natural. Poignant: These
words accurately describe
and his work and achievements
O. Cappas understands the suffering and struggles of Puerto
Ricans living in Mainland America as well as in Puerto
Rico. His poetry traces their hopes, problems, and misconceptions
from the island to the mainland where they discover that
dreams do die hard.
O. Cappas: Cappas is a poet and entrepreneur in several
diverse areas. He is the author of Echolalia, a collection
of poems, published in 1989, author of Disintegration
of the Puerto Ricans, published in 1997, and author of
The Pledge: A Guide for Everyday Living, published in
2001. His poetry has been included in many publications
and anthologies in the United States and Canada.
is the recipient of the "Keepers of Our Culture"
Award for Literature, presented to him by the New York
State Hispanic Heritage Month Committee -- on September
15, 1994. His talents and skills as a writer, interest
in the human condition and concern for those socio-economic
issues which impact the Puerto Rican/Latino community,
have served to foster in him an active interest and involvement
as a journalist. This has led to his role as co-publisher
and co-editor of the Latino Village Press, a monthly publication
designed to educate and inform the Puerto Rican/Latino
community about the importance of going into business
and developing their own economic institutions and infrastructures.
His accomplishments and achievements lists him as the
of the AOC Speakers Bureau, the only Latino and African
American speakers bureau in the country (now known as
A&L Speakers & Consultants). He is also founder
and Chairperson of Don Pedro Enterprises, the makers of
Don Pedro Cookies; and he was co-founder of A Place for
Poets, a national publication that featured aspiring Latino
and other emerging writers and poets.
his works have achieved wide interests, growing appeal
and numerous accolades. It should be noted that his work
has been featured and preserved in the City of Buffalo's
new Metro subway system, with a commissioned work by the
Niagara Frontier's Transportation Authority of an artistic
"vignette" with two other Latino artists. The
work is a thirty-foot steel tile mural that reflects the
search for a sense of belonging in this city. Also, his
early works have been included in the renowned Schomburg
O. Cappas is an alumnus of the State University of New
York at Buffalo and a recipient of the NYC Urban League's
Charles Evans Hughes Award for Creative Writing -- presented
to him by Harlem Preparatory School in 1967. Doña Julia is Alberto's third book
Alberto's work: In the poem "Suicide of a Puerto
Rican Jibaro," one need not be Puerto Rican to identify
with the alienation faced when entering a cold, foreign,
and jungle-like world. Cappas successfully explores what
such a drastic change can mean for a Puerto Rican away
from his island, where he is the majority. In "...Jibaro",
for the Puerto Rican man who emigrates to the United States,
"A million times his body was raped by the unfriendly
cold... to pursue the American Dream..."
is a relentless observer and commentator of what happens
when a people leave their homeland, or forget where they
come from, to pursue the uncertainties of the American
Dream. His poetry, ironic at times, questions whether
this dream does exist. In "A Spoken Secret",
"Light skin Puerto Ricans forget to speak Spanish...
and dark skin Puerto Ricans adopt hot combs to straighten
their hair." In "Doña Julia", a
woman is trapped like a mouse in America and so commits
suicide as a last attempt to return to her
And in "Maria" a young girl sits patiently thinking
about her experiences in New York since leaving Puerto
Rico and now waits "for the overdose (of a drug)
to take effect."
is not to say that all Puerto Ricans who come to the United
States end up killing themselves. It does show that Cappas
is keenly aware of a sort of cultural and spiritual death
that happens to Puerto Ricans and other Latinos when they
leave the tropical scenes and adopt certain American values.
In the ironic humorous poem, "Her Boricua",
a woman buys the Moon, tax-free, and invites her relatives
and friends on weekend nights to "admire the beauty
of her new possession." She tells them that in America,
"you have the freedom to buy anything you want."
in Puerto Rico" explores the death theme even further.
"I recited useless words of a poem to an audience
of Puerto Ricans, turned into zombies, refusing to break
the spell of all the misfortunes."
Julia and Other Poems by Alberto O. Cappas is a book filled
with poetic stories, forceful and powerful imagery and
messages that will stimulate all minds that come into
contact with it. Cappas' language is original and refreshing,
which makes his writing very natural and uncluttered with
abstractions. Cappas is correct, knows what he needs to
say and clearly makes his point.
info on Alberto O. CAPPAS
Collection of Poems by Puerto Rican American
Poet Alberto O. Cappas
And Other Selected Poems
by: Alberto O. Cappas
"A collection of poetic short stories"
"Finally, an evergreen poet gives an insight as to
what happened to so many Puerto Ricans and Latinos when
they made New York City their new home. An extremely heart
felt and thought provoking insight! Gift of a good writer!"
Alberto O. Cappas is available for poetry readings and
speaking engagements - for high school and college audiences.
Bio: Alberto O Cappas: a graduate of Brendeis High
School, Harlem Prep School, and SUNY@ Buffalo. He has
been widely published in magazines, journals and is the
author of several collection of poems, including: Echolalia:
Verse & Vibration; Disintegration of the Puerto Ricans;
The Pledge: A Guide for Everyday Living.
Alberto O. Cappa is also the Director of Community Affairs
for the New York City Human Resoures Administration. A
very interesting characater to address your students.
to Alberto O. Cappoas: