Clemente Soto Vélez

Clemente Soto Vélez

Alfredo Hernandez "Clemente Soto Velez" 1996

Clemente Soto Vélez (1905-1993) was a poet, journalist and activist who mentored generations of Latino artists in Puerto Rico and New York City. He left a rich legacy that contributed to the cultural, social and economic life of Puerto Ricans in New York City and Latinos everywhere. Clemente founded literary and community organisations including the Puerto Rican Merchants Association. His life and work demonstrate his belief in self-sufficiency and community empowerment. Clemente Soto Vélez remains one of the most prominent of Puerto Rico’s poets, writing in the tradition of Neruda with powerful, passionate, socially visionary and surrealist vision. A sample of his work can be found in The Blood That Keeps Singing, where “the English-speaking reader can discover at last this major writer whose poetry and passionate social vision are inseparable, a man from whom the poet must be ‘light transformed into humanity.'” —MultiCultural Review