José Martí Weekend October 14 & 15

Jose Marti

José Martí Weekend on Governors Island will be October 14 and 15. This weekend’s program aims to further widespread interest in José Martí, one of the greatest writers in the Spanish language and someone whose legacy to the City of New York cannot be underestimated.

All events take place in English, in the Empire State Center for the Book pop-up house on Governors Island, Quarters 4B, Nolan Park (right next to the Admiral’s House, whose gardens General Winfield Scott Hancock once tended).

“Cuidaba en silencio, en la linda isla del Gobernador, a la entrada de Nueva York, de los jardines y canteros que allí embellecen la morada del mayor-general del ejército del Este…”

“On lovely Governors Island, at the entrance to New York City, [Winfield Scott Hancock] silently tended to the gardens and flowerbeds that grace the home of the Major General of the Army of the Atlantic…”

—José Martí, “El General Hancock,” written in New York City, February 12, 1886; published in La Nación (Buenos Aires), March 26, 1886

The weekend is presented by:
* The Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature, Baruch College, CUNY
* The Ph.D. Program in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages, CUNY Graduate Center
* Centro Cultural Cubano de Nueva York
* The Empire State Center for the Book

The event is free and open to the public. We will be collecting funds for the Hispanic Federation on behalf of hurricane victims in the Caribbean, and ask that you consider donating whatever you can.

Schedule of events:

11:30 a.m.
Emma Otheguy introduces and reads from her new bilingual book for children Martí’s Song for Freedom / Martí y sus versos por la libertad. Martí scholar Anne Fountain joins her for a conversation about “Guantanamera.”

12:30 p.m.
Cuban painter/photographer Geandy Pavón shares the haunting vision of a hidden and wrinkled Martí that recurs in his work.

1:30 p.m.
Baruch professor Esther Allen, reveals the strange history of the equestrian statue of Martí that stands in the heart of Manhattan, and CUNY grad student Wilfredo Burgos Matos reads his translation of the crónica about Governors Island

2:30 p.m.
Scientist and Baruch Dean Aldemaro Romero Jr. dissects Martí’s connections with the celebrated 19th-century Cuban zoologist Felipe Poey.


11:30 a.m.
Baruch College professor Rick Rodriguez analyzes Martí’s views on the U.S. South and the American Civil War.

12:30 p.m.
Raquel Vinat of Cuba’s Instituto de Historia introduces three remarkable women, all abolitionists and exiles, whose lives intersected Martí’s in New York City.

1:30 p.m.
Historian Jorge Dominguez offers irrefutable evidence of where Martí spent his last months in Manhattan in 1894-1895, before departing on his fateful journey back to Cuba, to lead the island’s armed struggle for independence from Spain.

2:30 p.m.
New York University historian Ada Ferrer addresses the issue of race, and Martí’s handling of it, in Cuba’s struggle for independence.

Authors & New York May 27 & 28

New York

The Empire State Center for the Book welcomes authors and writers who live and work in New York City for two days of talks, discussion, and book signings. All events are free and open to the public, and held at Governors Island Quarters 4B in Nolan Park, an 1855 former officer’s house. This is the pop-up location for the center and the New York State Writers Hall of Fame.

The diverse group of writers represents New York City in biography, fiction, history, illustration, non-fiction, and photography. Books and illustrations will be for sale at the house.


N. West Moss’ work has appeared in The New York Times, The Saturday Evening Post, McSweeney’s, Salon, Brevity, and elsewhere. The Subway Stops at Bryant Park, published by Leapfrog Press, is her first book, a collection of short stories, all of which are connected to Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan. Moss is a second-generation New Yorker who explores the way “progress” in this city leaves behind as many as it raises up.

Mark P. Bernardo is a journalist and editor who has written about travel, entertainment, art, culture, and lifestyle topics for publications such as Maxim, Bloomberg Markets, Bloomberg Pursuits, Robb Report, and Worth. An aficionado of art history and a fixture on the New York City museum scene, his interest in Roy Lichtenstein’s work was inspired by the author’s earlier career as an editor, writer, and color artist for Marvel Comics. His new book is Lichtenstein in New York: A Pop Art Life (Roaring Forties Press).

Photographer and writer Janko Puls focuses mainly on landscapes, urbanscapes, and seascapes. The human condition is his topic though, and he finds this expressed in inanimate objects as well. Architecture, embedded in the social and geological topography, plays a special role in this context. His book is Point of View New York City.


Kevin C. Fitzpatrick has written and edited seven books with ties to New York history, including World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War and The Governors Island Explorer’s Guide (Globe Pequot). In time for the centennial of America’s entry into the Great War, World War I New York is the first guidebook to the traces of the conflict in the region.

Writer and performer Trav S.D. is the author of the popular books No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous (2005) and Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube. He has contributed to The New York Times, American Theatre, the Village Voice, Time Out New York, Reason, The Villager, and many other publications. He also writes the popular show biz blog “Travalanche”.

Ed Hamilton, who grew up in the suburbs of Louisville, Kentucky, is the author of Legends of the Chelsea Hotel: Living with the Artists and Outlaws of New York’s Rebel Mecca and The Chintz Age: Tales of Love and Loss for a New New York. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in dozens of small journals and newspapers. Ed lives in New York City.

Jennifer E. Steenshorne, PhD. is the Associate Editor of The Selected Papers of John Jay and a historian of New York City and the trans-Atlantic world in the colonial and early national periods. She has been with the Papers of John Jay project since its beginning in 2005. Dr. Steenshorne will be speaking on John Jay’s tenure as governor of New York State, from 1795 to 1801. She will discuss the many challenges Jay faced as governor, particularly the defense of New York during the Quasi-War with France and the terrible Yellow Fever epidemics of the 1790s.

Also at the house during the day Sunday will be Carolyn Raship, an illustrator and writer. She lives in Brooklyn. Carolyn will have illustrations for sale.