Joserramón “Che” Melendes

1952 –

Joserramón “Che” Melendes was born in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, where he still lives, on May 12, 1952. He is a poet, critic, theoretician, editor, cultural organizer, and workshop leader.

Melendes is the author of La Casa de la Forma: sonetos y fragmentos materiales, 1971–1986 (QeAse, Río Piedras, 1997) and Desimos Désimas (QeAse, Río Piedras, P.R., 1983), in addition to the poetry books Calaboso: fragmentos i sonetos escombrados en La Casa de la Forma (Inedisiones QeAse, Riopiedras, 2011) and Senotafio: tumbas de poetas con otras tumbas bibas (Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, San Juan, P.R., 2009), which won an award from the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture. Two anthologies of his published and previously unreleased poetry are currently being prepared for publication in both Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Melendes has edited the literary theory and poetic work of Juan A. Corretjer. As an editor, he has also worked on the poetry of Francisco Matos Paoli, José María Lima, and Anjelamaría Dávila. Melendes’s most recent work includes the fourth edition of La Casa de las Formas (Ediciones qeAse, 2020); Josérramón Melendes: Omenaje a Fernández Retamar (Periódico Claridad, 2019); and Antología Isla Escrita, edited by Néstor Rodríguez (Amargord Ediciones, 2018). His poetry has been compiled in the q∫21 series, from which his first volume, El Fondo de la Máscara (Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, San Juan, P.R., 2008), received the ICP essay award. Para Delfín, published in 1992, received the PEN Club award. In 2022, Melendes was named an inaugural Letras Boricuas Fellow by the Flamboyan Foundation.