"This collection gives testament to Figueroa’s poetic evolution; it includes some of his most classic poems along with a new crop of innovative work by this accomplished and gifted artist who masters his craft."
Edna Acosta Belen

Distinguished Professor at Albany, State University of NY 


"José Angel brings a unique music and imagery to the definition of what American poetry is that needs Hearing because it is Sound, not just text for silent parsing."

Amiri Baraka

Newark Poet Laureate


"There is no mistaking the literary voice of José Angel Figueroa. . . . He writes like he is holding a watercolor brush, capturing the images of elusive ghosts that pass him in the mirror."                     Magadalena Gomez

Performance artist & poet


"José Angel Figueroa's writing reflects a chronicler of the new. Enjoy the creation of a prophetic song filled with the pearls of Puerto Rican migration, new feminine humanity and revelry in the ins and outs of the bombastic Boricua that take us on a nostalgic family history"

Tato Laviera

Poet and Playwright


José Angel Figueroa has been a major contributor to the Puerto Rican and Latino literary movement in the United States. In this collection, he explores themes of migration and Puerto Rican identity as well as existential reflections about the human experience.


The cover and interior artwork were created by Juan Sanchez, well-known for his work combining painting and photography with media clippings and found objects to expose America's policies and practices in Puerto Rico, and obstacles facing Puerto Ricans in the U.S. "

Review: A Mirror in My Own Backstage

by Richard Poe
Thursday, March 28, 2013


A GLOBAL society is necessarily a multicultural and multiracial society. This is the inescapable fact of our era. All over the world, people are on the move, colliding and commingling on a scale never seen before.


Where will it end, and what will be the result of this greatest of all human migrations? What does the future hold for the tribes and nations of the earth?


Through his poetry, Jose Angel Figueroa tries to answer this question. He has been grappling with it all his life. Born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico and raised in the cosmopolitan milieu of the city he calls “Noo Jork,” Figueroa confronts the mystery of mingled blood, celebrating the unique blend of Arawak, African and Spanish genes which gave rise to his Puerto Rican people.

Figueroa’s A Mirror in My Own Backstage (Red Sugarcane Press, 2013) expresses the pain and hope of a colonized people seeking to find its place in a post-colonial world. Through profound and patient study, Figueroa mastered the English language and learned to use it to express the passions of his Latino soul. Thus does he transform the English language, that mighty instrument of colonization, into a tool of liberation for the colonized.


More than thirty years ago, Prof. Figueroa kindly took time to encourage and advise me, at a time when I was struggling to find my own voice as a writer and poet. He has been an inspiration and role model ever since. I was deeply honored when Prof. Figueroa asked me to contribute the Foreword to A Mirror in My Own Backstage.





This Spanish-language translation of A Mirror in My Own Backstage includes new and previously published works that span Jose Angel Figueroa's artistic career.  


Los poemas en esta traducción de textos nuevos o anteriormente publicados del autor recogen su larga trayectoria artística y aunque aún reflejan la voz persuasiva y el alma compasiva del poeta combatiente de sus primeros tiempos, son también la plasmación de la madurez de una conciencia artística innovadora.




José  Angel Figueroa was among the first New York poets to introduce his writings, in Spanish, to readers in Puerto Rico. Noo Jork captures the joys and hardships of the Puerto Rican migration experience. This collection of poems was published by the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1981 under the direction of Don Ricardo Alegria, Puerto Rico's most renowned  scholar, cultural anthropologist, and archeologist.


Limited editions are available for purchase. 

Contact for details.