Jesus Papoleto Melendez

Jesus Papoleto Melendez, award-winning poet, playwright, teacher and activist from East Harlem (El Barrio). Considered an original founder of the Nuyorican poets’ movement, he has worked with juveniles in corrections institutions, and co-produced the series of events “La Patria Resiste” to aid artists in Puerto Rico, post hurricane Maria Meléndez’s 1974 play, 

“The Junkies Stole The Clock,” was the first Latino play produced by Joseph Papp/New York Shakespeare Festival. 

Melendez’s was awarded The Pregones’ Theatre “Master Artist Award” (2013-14), Pregones ensemble theatrical presentation of his works at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre; The Universes Poetic Ensemble Company Award/Appreciation of Inspiration & Commitment to the Development of the Company (2006); New York Foundation for the Arts NYFA Fellowship in Poetry (2001); Artist for Community Enrichment Award (ACE) Bronx Council on the Arts (1995); Combo/NEA (Combined Arts of San Diego) Fellowship in Literature, “For innovative multi-disciplinary works in poetry, playwriting, and performance art which speak with eloquence and compassion for society’s victims of indifference, racism and intolerance,” (1988).

Melendez’s published poetry include “¡Hey Yo / Yo Soy! – 40 Years of Nuyorican Street Poetry” (bilingual edition, 2Leaf Press, 2012); His latest publication, “PAPOLíTICO – Poems of a Political Persuasion” (2Leaf Press, 2018).