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Don’t hang up! Booklyn Calling is back.

June 19, 2024

Puerto Rican textile artist Gloribel Delgado Esquilín talks with Monica & Marshall about her work as a journalist, the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and how a found bag of cloth ignited a journey of sewing dolls and creating soft books. The three talk about the political nature of her work, and Gloribel shares the importance of making work that is vulnerable and physically soft (to offset hard topics), while also needing to feel free in her creation, as a reaction to living in a colonized space.

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Gloribel Delgado Esquilín is a textile artist, craftswoman, teacher, and writer from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She worked for more than 20 years as a journalist, creating community newspapers, literary magazines, community radio programs, theater, and art. Her career took a surprising turn after finding some cloth bags on the city streets, inspiring her to create dolls with stories. From that meeting, she returned to her passion for sewing, creating over 400 dolls. In 2014, she moved to Lima, Peru, to expand her knowledge of textile art and joined the collective of textile artists, “La Hermandad de la Costura”.  In 2018, she visited Paris, where she learned to create pieces in natural felt. In 2019, she returned to Peru and exhibited her first textile book “La Casa Inundada”. 

Delgado Esquilín’s identity as an ecofeminist is a cornerstone of her work. She has trained as an agroecological promoter at the Puerto Rican farm school El Josco Bravo, and collaborated to spearhead the Project 4645 initiative, a poignant tribute to the memory of thousands of victims in Puerto Rico following the devastating Hurricane María. Currently, Delgado Esquilín is completing graduate studies in narration. She is working on her first book of chronicles and creates textile books with an anti-racist and decolonial vision of her days in Puerto Rico.

Booklyn Calling is made possible in part by funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the NY City Council.