Emmanuel Ortiz is a third-generation Chicano/Puerto Rican/Irish-American community organizer and spoken-word poet residing in Minneapolis. He is the author of a chapbook of poems, The Word is a Machete: Post-Pocho/Puerto Rican Poems of the Personal and Political, winner of the Bookstore of the Americas Book of the Year Award in 2003. He also co-edited Under What Bandera? Anti-War Ofrendas from Minnesota y Califas, a collection of poems against war by Latina/o poets in Minnesota and Southern California (Calaca Press, 2004). He has shared his poetry throughout the Twin Cities as well as in Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, and Austin, TX, at uncountable readings, rallies, conferences, and benefit shows. He has shared the stage with such poets as Miguel Algarín, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Olga A. García, and Amalia Ortiz. His poetry has appeared in numerous publications, including the toolkit "The Roots of Terror" published by Project South: Institute for the Elimination of Poverty and Genocide (Atlanta, GA) as well as two books published in Australia: Open Boat - Barbed Wire Sky (Live Poets’ Press) an anthology of poems to aid refugees and asylum-seekers, and Passion for Peace: Exercising Power Creatively (UNSW Press). His words have aired on local, community radio in communities such as Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Portland, OR, Houston, and Austin, TX, and nationally on Pacifica Radio’s Democracy Now. His poetry has also been the subject of study in high school and college classrooms and debates from Minnesota to Puerto Rico. His writing will also appear in the forthcoming FreedomBook, an anthology of writings in support of Puerto Rican political prisoners. He will also appear on Latino spoken word CD Raza Spoken Here 3 (Calaca Press, forthcoming). In the meantime, Emmanuel is working with writer/activist Aurora Levins-Morales (author of Remedios and Medicine Stories) to co-edit an anthology of writings by U.S.-based Puerto Ricans living outside the New York area, entitled OtheRicans: Voices from the greater Puerto Rican Diaspora (forthcoming).
Emmanuel is a founding member of the Latina/o writers/poets collective Palabristas:Latin@ Word Slingers, and is working alongside two other Minnesota-based Latino artists, Brandon Lacy Campos and Dessa Darling, to produce a spoken word performance entitled "Part-o Rican/Sorta Rican/Quarter Rican" which explores the experience of growing up mixed-race Rican in the Midwest. He also currently serves on the board of directors for the Minnesota Spoken Word Association, and is the coordinator of Guerrilla Wordfare, a Twin Cities-based grassroots project bringing together artists of color to address socio-political issues and raise funds for progressive and organizing in communities of color through art as a tool of social change.
In his spare time, Emmanuel enjoys guacamole, futbol, and naps.
boricano at hotmail dot com