Born on the sofrito-infused island of Puerto Rico to a military family and raised amongst the hodgepodge culture of the United States, Tatiana Figueroa Ramirez spent much of her childhood balancing overlapping worlds that would eventually join to become her own. Whether it was dancing salsa, speaking Spanish, and making pernil at home or listening to rap and craving Mrs. Daisy’s collard greens, it did not take long for Tatiana to recognize herself as an Afroboricua.
The memories of the sun landing on her neck while she walked to both the corner store in Jamaica, Queens and to the panadería in Sabana Grande continue breathing in her everyday life, in her poetry. Her work is painted with the blooms of flamboyant trees and is etched into sidewalks of the cities she loves. Her pieces speak in honor of the sun-kissed children, the culturally confused young adults, and the neighborhood viejitos watching everything from their balcón. Her words are filled with the spirits of the sea, streets, and ceiba trees.
As an Afroboricua, Tatiana names Julia de Burgos as her greatest inspiration, but also notes the works of Zora Neale Hurston, Claudia Rankine, and Esmeralda Santiago, among others, as her gumbo recipe for creative backboards. All, being writers born into the minority, were still able to dance past all limitations with a fierce grace solidifying them into the literary hall of fame. For Tatiana, the underrepresented need to be heard, the perspective of people of color is vital, and the perspective of women is crucial. Above all things, the perspective of the marginalized is necessary and this is what truly wakes the muse in her work.
Tatiana graduated with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in American Studies from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). She is a VONA/Voices Alumna having studied under award-winning poet Willie Perdomo. Tatiana has been published in Pool Poetry, Spillwords, The Acentos Review, A Gypsy's Library, and Here Comes Everyone: East & West Issue. She mainly performs in the greater Washington D.C. area, but has also shared her work throughout the continental United States and the Dominican Republic. She is currently working on her first collection of poetry Coconut Curls y Café con Leche.
Tatiana is available for poetry readings, features, commissioned pieces, workshop facilitations, hosting, and panels.
Contact her directly for bookings and more information.