Photographs by Richard Renaldi
Self-published as a chapbook in 1997, Pier Queen launched the career of spoken word artist and poet Emanuel Xavier with classics such as “Tradiciones” and “Nueva York”- both featured on Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry- and other poems which captured the voice of a generation of queer people of color. For the first time ever, this ground-breaking collection becomes available featuring snapshots taken at the West Side Highway piers throughout the years by photographer Richard Renaldi. This collaboration is a gift to the LGBTQ community and for those who may be interested in how pier queens became poets and great artists against all odds to inspire others to rise above adversity.
“In the classic poetry collection Pier Queen, Emanuel Xavier’s words shimmer and spark with all the audacious energy of streetwise queer Latino culture. It goes right to the heart of the matter of his world and shines a bright spotlight revealing beauty, scars and the bared souls of its inhabitants.” – author Charles Rice-González
“Once in a generation, a new voice emerges that makes us see the world in a dazzling new light. Emanuel Xavier is that kind of writer- exciting, vibrant, unique, a visionary bard”- author Jaime Manrique
” … a wrinkled yet sentimental world perilously eroding like the piers themselves where Emanuel created himself … loud and daring … extreme and exuberant” – Keith Roach
“Race, class and sexuality” has become somewhat of a scholarly catch-phrase since American literature can now boast an extensive body of work that explores this nexus. But it’s important to note that Emanuel Xavier’s Pier Queen was a trailblazing early example for the newest generation of queer Latino writers. If ever art was a gesture of courage and activism, then there is no clearer evidence—this self-published collection of poetry that launched a career …” – author Rigoberto Gonzalez, from the foreword to Pier Queen