STEPHANIE A. AGOSTO, poet/activist, is a dynamic force in the ongoing struggle for civil rights, cultural awareness and community activism. Stephanie’s work, which has been published in the US as well as abroad in poetry compilations, anthologies, art books and periodicals, has been described as “a haunting blend of fire, pain, joy, unhealed wounds and ghetto awareness delivered passionately from the belly of social unrest brought to a community thirsting for historical truth to a beat.”
She received her A.A. from Queensborough Community College, attended Hunter College and Film & Video Arts in New York City to study Film Production; and went on to produce and host the poetry series, “Universal Beats,” a weekly series on Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN). The series featured interviews of community leaders and performances of spoken word artists such as: Councilman Jose Rivera, Congressman Jose Serrano, Efrain Suarez, Sandra Maria Esteves, Pedro Pietri and Jesús Papoleto Meléndez. She also produced a 12-week poetry series at Alexis Café in New York City, which featured artists such as: Frank Perez, Lisa Muhammad, Bigga Black, Eve Packer, David Henderson, Eileen Reyes, among others.
Stephanie has performed at numerous venues, including: Nuyorican Poets Café; The Julia de Burgos Cultural Center; Hope Community Garden; Boricua College; Gathering of the Tribes; The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center; Café Largo; Alexis Café; Aaron Davis Hall; Brooklyn Moon Café; Wordquestra; Sista’s Place; and Teachers and Writers Collaborative: Center for Imaginative Writing at New Paltz University. She appeared on phatLiterature, a Literary TV Program aired on QPTV and co-wrote with Michael Bynum, “phatLiterature’s theme song,” which she produced and performed.
As an activist, Stephanie has donated her time to a number of organizations, including Gathering of the Tribes, Wordquestra (Poets Choral), Shawangunk Correctional Facility, Caribbean Unity Org, Latinos en Progresso Org, and Saint Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction Program.
She worked in the health field for a number of years in New York, notably for Dr. Louis Parrish, who ran one of the city’s first prominent HIV/AIDS practices, and worked closely with politicians to help pass legislation bill HR 1709, which recognized the important role of dietary supplements in America’s health care system. When she relocated to Central Florida, she became a licensed realtor, but continued to do volunteer work with organizations such as Hispanic Health Initiative, and Hogar Crea, a rehab treatment center.
Stephanie initially appeared as a guest on the IAAS’s phati’tude Literary TV Show (formerly known as “phatLiterature”) and co-wrote, produced and performed with Michael Bynum, “phatLiterature’s theme song.” A Board Member since 2004, Stephanie was instrumental in helping to finalize and distribute phati’tude Literary TV Show to public access and college television stations across the country, and currently oversees 2Leaf Press’ business operations.
As a poet-activist, producer, business woman and the mother of twin daughters, Stephanie is a woman of great sensibility, rebellious spirit and exceptional intelligence. Her discomfort with social ills, her love for Puerto Rico, and her reoccupation with justice and death, all come out in the torrents of her poetry with its richly emotional metaphors. Stephanie can be found on FaceBook.