Edwin Torres says his first real access to poetry was through Mad magazine. "The song satires and stupid rhymes reminded me so much of Uncle Martin, my mother's brother. [He] lived a few blocks away until my high school years, providing comfort and support after my father died...He was sort of a Puerto Rican Benny Hill...Humor was a motivating force for me since there was always humor in the household."
Torres found the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York at the beginning of his life as a poet in 1991, before Spoken Word became a sport. The Cafe had a strong influence on him. "...We were both working class heroes and I lived a lot of the work coming from it." He writes that the interest in Spoken Word--in hearing language--was planted by rap music, which in its pure uncut form was created for the working class.
Listen now as Edwin Torres performs his poems "Exotic People" and "All Colors Not White," taken from his CD "Holy Kid" (Kill Rock Stars.)