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Giannina Braschi

Born: 1955 AD
Currently alive, at 67 years of age.
Nationality: N/A
Categories: Writers

Giannina Braschi is one of Puerto Rico’s most influential contemporary poets who writes experimental and politically-charged works in English, Spanish, and Spanglish. Her best known titles include the phantasmagorical trilogy "Empire of Dreams," the bilingual comic novel "Yo-Yo Boing!," and "United States of Banana". She lives in New York City, the site and subject of much of her writing.



1955 – Born into a well-to-do San Juan family. Her grandfather Miguel Firpi was the first major importer of fine automobiles to Puerto Rico and her grandmother Juanita Firpi Miranda, a professor of English, was among the first women to graduate University of Puerto Rico. Her father Euripedes Braschi was the island’s champion tennis player and her mother Edmee Firpi Braschi was a realtor.


1966 – Won the US National Tennis Tournament in Puerto Rico.  Became the youngest woman tennis champion in the country. 


1966-1968 – Explored a career as a fashion model. 


1970 – Moved to Europe to study comparative literatures in Madrid, Rome, London, and Paris.  


1974 – Moved to New York City to enroll in graduate school.


1980 – PhD in Hispanic Literature from State University of New York, Stony Brook in Golden Age Spanish Literature. 


1980 – Published Asalto al tiempo, her first book of poetry in Spanish prose (Barcelona).


1982 – Published a book of critical essays on the Spanish Romantic poet Gustavo Adolfo Becquer. 


1985 – Published La Comedia profana, second colleciton of poetry in Spanish (Barcelona).


1988 – Published El Imperio de los suenos, collected poems and novela in Spanish, in Barcelona.


1994 – Her collected works in English translation, Empire of Dreams, inaugurate The Yale Library of Literature in Translation.


1997 – Served as National Endowed Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at Colgate University.


1997 – Won National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. 


1998 – Published breakthrough experimental novel in English, Spanish, and Spanglish entitled Yo-Yo Boing! (Latin American Literary Review Press, 1988).


1999 – Won PEN American Center Open Book Award for the novel Yo-Yo Boing!


2000 – Won New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction.


2009 – Served as a Writer-in-Residence at the Baltic Center for Writers and Translators.


2010 – Elected a judge of Latin American literature for PEN American Center.


2011 – AmazonCrossing publishes "United States of Banana," her first work written in English, and rereleases Braschi’s best selling titles "Empire of Dreams" and Yo-Yo Boing!" in English and Spanish editions.



First Lines of Famous Poems by Giannina Braschi:

"On the top floor of the Empire State Building a shepherd has stood up to sing and dance…"


"My tanks were filled with gasoline and wars. I was a lead soldier…"


 "I saw a torso falling–no head–no legs–just a torso. I am redundant because I can’t believe what I saw.  I saw a torso falling–no head–no legs–just a torso tumbling in the air…"


"I just turned life into a proverb. I just killed it…"


"Metaphors and similies are the beginning of the democratic system of envy…"


"It’s the end of the world–I was excited by the whole situation."