Judith Ortiz Cofer is known for incorporating her experiences as a Puerto Rican American into her writing, and "The Latin Deli: An Ars Poetica" is no different. Centered around a Latin market, the reader learns about different foods and cultural items that unite the diverse customers who visit the deli, and their common experiences as immigrants. Cofer weaves Spanish vocabulary seamlessly into the English lines, drawing the reader into the language that is central to the deli’s existence. This guide will take students through the theme, motifs, and vocabulary from "The Latin Deli: An Ars Poetica", with activities and examples for further inspiration!
Judith Ortiz Cofer was born in Puerto Rico, but moved to the mainland United States at a young age. She often uses her real-life experiences as inspiration and a source of detail in her woks. She is known for working with a variety of genres, including short stories, essays, young-adult fiction, and poetry. Ortiz Cofer regularly combines American and Latino culture in her writing, utilizing vocabulary from both the Spanish and English languages. Her career spans generations and she continues to write to this day.