Magdalena Gómez Papers
Scope and Contents
Contains correspondence, photographs, CDs, posters, flyers, promotional postcards, press releases that document the life of Magdalena Gómez as a poet, writer, spoken word performer, and social activist for such issues as homeless, arts in K-12 education, teenage bullying, teenage empowerment through the arts, women’s rights, Latino/a and other minorities rights, etc… In addition there are materials such as flyers, posters, correspondence, and DVDs that document Magdalena Gómez involvement with Teatro V!DA, a theater project for at risk youth that she co-founded.
The collection is open and available for research.
Magdalena Gómez, 1953--
Magdalena Gómez is a poet, playwright, actor, director, educator, producer, youth mentor, national keynote speaker and arts based activist. Born in Manhattan, New York City in 1953, and raised in the Hunts Point section of Bronx, she started her career as a performance poet in 1971, while she was still in high school. She became involved in NYC poetry scene by performing her poetry in cafes, bars, churches, theaters, artist lofts and wherever opportunity presented itself within the tri-state area. Her first professional poetry performance was at Dramatis Personae Theater in NYC on West 14th Street, which was known as a gay male performance venue. On Sundays, the theater’s director, turned over the burlesque stage to poetry doyenne, Emilie Glen, known as “the most widely published unknown poet” also provided regular venue for Gómez at the regular poetry salon in her home on the Lower East Side and later on in Greenwich Village. Gómez is considered by many to be part of the early beginnings of the Nuyorican Literary Movement, where she was mentored and encouraged by such poets as Louis Reyes Rivera, Sandra María Esteves, Judith Ortiz-Cofer, José Ángel Figueroa, and Pedro Pietri, but did not stay in the movement. For most of her life, both in New York City and in Springfield, Massachusetts, Gómez has been outside any particular “movement” creating her own unique style and sensibilities.
She is a tireless performer and collaborator. She has worked with Fred Ho, a well-known Asian American musician, composer, writer, and activist who combines music and politics to fight discrimination, oppression and redefine American identity. Their works complement each other since both see their art as a driving force for social change.
Gómez was one of the first Master Teaching Artists with the www.smartschoolsnetwork.org and continues an active educator with them since 1999. From 1995 - 2005, she was a mentor and teaching artist with the Women of Color Leadership Network at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. While there, she developed the Writing from the Belly series, where each year the women wrote and performed work that centered on one’s body, body politics and the history of the body. Towards the end of her tenure and inspired by this work, a group of students began to produce, direct and perform, Body Politics, which has since become a yearly and legendary event. Gómez was also the founding theater artist of Teatro El Puente, in Williamsburg, NY as their first volunteer theater director in 1982. Under her direction, Teatro El Puente became a successful HIV/AIDS and health-related educational touring company based at El Puente that still continues today. During the 1970’s she was the drama instructor at Johnny Colon’s East Harlem Music School, where her intergenerational student roster included renowned eco-activist Majora Carter (who is currently on the Teatro V!da advisory board) and singer Marc Anthony. Gómez is currently a commentator with New England Public Radio, and a regular columnist with An African American Point of View newspaper (now, Point of View) in Springfield, MA, where she highlights Latinos who are committed to social change, the arts and justice, as well as addresses issues of importance to the community in her monthly column, Latino Groove. She was formerly a columnist with the first bilingual regional newspaper in Western Massachusetts, La Prensa de Western Massachusetts, founded by Natalia Eugenia Muñoz, the granddaughter of Luis Muñoz Marín, best known as the first democratically elected Governor of Puerto Rico.
Gómez is currently living and working in Springfield, MA and touring nationally as a keynote speaker and teaching artist. She is co-founder and Artistic Director of Teatro V!da, the first Latino theater in the history of Springfield, Massachusetts, inaugurated in a ceremony in June, 2007 at the Springfield Museums. Teatro V!da was the recipient of the 2010 Arts/Learning Award for Outstanding Arts Collaborative in the Field of Theater in Massachusetts. This theater ensemble is comprised of multicultural youth, world-class artists, and community adults in diverse fields, creating new, multi-media work tackling issues that affect them such as bullying and discrimination. Gómez’s work is constantly changing and growing so this biographical note is a work in progress and will change through time.
11.35 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
Contains correspondence, photographs, CDs, posters, flyers, promotional postcards, press releases that document the life of Magdalena Gómez as a poet, writer, spoken word performer, and social activist for such issues as homeless, arts in K-12 education, teenage bullying, teenage empowerment through the arts, women’s rights, Latino/a and other minorities rights, etc… In addition there are materials such as flyers, posters, correspondence, and DVDs that document Magdalena Gómez involvement with Teatro V!DA, an intergenerational professional community theater that she co-founded.
Accrual of Materials
The donor is alive and she has indicated that more materials will be sent to the archives in an irregular schedule.
CDs & DVDs
The following materials have been separated from the collection and cataloged:
3 CDs and 2 DVDs
Gómez, Magdalena. AmaXonica: Howls from the Left Side of My Body. Call Number: Dodd CD 1874
Ho, Fred. Big Red: Fred Ho and the Afro Asian Music Ensemble. Call Number: Dodd CD 1875
Ho, Fred. Year of the Tiger: Fred Ho and the Green Monster Big Band. Call Number: Dodd CD 1876
Teatro V!DA: Rumors of a New Day. Call Number: Dodd DVD 175
Teatro V!DA: …And Literacy for All. Call Number: Dodd DVD 174
- “Angel Zamora” (poem). 2nd Place Winner, Massachusetts statewide poetry competition sponsored by the Springfield City Library, Springfield, MA. Published in Write On, Springfield, Springfield City Library publication, 2009
- Arroyo, María Luisa and Magdalena Gómez, eds. Bullying: Replies, Rebuttals, Confessions and Catharsis: First Multicultural, Iintergenerational and Multi-genre Anthology on Bullying. NYC: Skyhorse Publishing, 2012.
- Gómez, Magdalena. “Executive Order 9066; The Borikua Who Sang Broken Boleros.” Breaking Ground/Abriendo Caminos: Anthology of Puerto Rican Women Writers in New York 1980-2012. Myrna Nieves (ed). New York: Editorial Campana, 2012.
- ---. "Dear Lydia." The Women's Times Magazine May 2007: 4.
- ---. “La Terraza.” El Coro: A Chorus of Latino and Latina Poetry. Ed. Martín Espada. Amherst, Mass.: University of Massachusetts Press, 1997.
- ---. “La Terraza.” The Massachusetts Review 36.4 (1996): 614-5.
- ---.“Mami.” Latin Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature. Eds. John S. Christie and José B. Gonzalez. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2006.
- ---. “Mami.” Callaloo 15.4 (1992): 959-60.
- ---. “Daydreamer.” Working Days: Stories about Teenagers and Work. Ed. Anne Mazer. New York: Persea Books, 1997.
- ---. “Sweetie's Not”; “Elizabeth Gilbert Islands of Civility.” Even More Monologues for Women by Women. Ed. Tori Haring-Smith. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2001.
- ---. “Mestiza Legacy ; Telling; It Happens While Presidents Play Golf.” Paper Dance : 55 Latino Poets. Eds. Victor Hernández Cruz , Leroy Quintana, and Virgil Suárez . New York: Persea Books, 1995.
- ---. “Making It ; Chocolate Confessions; Troubled Awakening; To the Latin Lover I Left at the Candy Store; Solo Palabras; A desert Cry; Lost Daughter; Looking Deep.” Puerto Rican Writers at Home in the USA: An Anthology. Ed. Faythe E. Turner. 1st ed. Seattle, Wash.: New York: Open Hand Pub., 1991.
- ---. “Time to Clean House.” The Berkshire Review 14 (2006): 39-40.
Selected Bibliography II
- CD: Bemba y Chichón, Spoken Word/Poetry CD, Co-produced with Abraham Gomez-Delgado. Hunter College Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Letras online. Rotary Records, Longmeadow Massachusetts, 2008.
- CD: AmaXonica: Howls from the Left Side of My Body, Spoken Word/Poetry CD, The Rotary Records, Longmeadow Massachusetts, 2004.
- Performance: “Why I Became a Loud Puerto Rican (and other impolite stories)” created and performance by Magdalena Gómez (2007- ).
- Performance: “Dancing in My Cockroach Killers”: performance based on Magdalena Gómez poems, monologues and reflections by Pregones Theater (2013).
- DVD: The Poetry Center Presents Women Speak from Prison. Dir. Gómez, Magdalena, Smith College. Poetry Center., and Voices from Inside. 2005. (DVD)
- DVD: Teatro V!DA: Rumors of a New Day
- Play: Fuego en la Cocina
- Play: Lobster Face (or The Shame of Amanda Cockshutt)
- Authors Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Hispanic Americans Subject Source: Fast
- Human rights Subject Source: Fast
- Poets, American Subject Source: Fast
- Political activists Subject Source: Fast
- Political participation Subject Source: Fast
- United States (nation) Subject Source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- Women Subject Source: Fast
- Women educators Subject Source: Fast
- Women poets Subject Source: Fast
- Women's rights Subject Source: Fast
- Magdalena Gómez Papers
- Archives & Special Collections staff
- 2014 March
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Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository
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