Salvador Tió’s 100th Anniversary

Today (November 15, 2011) there will be activities at different institutions around Puerto Rico to celebrate 100 years since the birth of poet, essayist, journalist, and promoter of Puerto Rican culture Salvador Tió (1911-1989). Celebrations include a concert by Tony Mapeyé and his Orchestra [Orquesta Nacional Criolla de Puerto Rico], who will play décimas written by the poet. The concert will take place today at 12:30pm at the University of the Sacred Heart in Santurce, Puerto Rico.

Salvador Tió was born in Mayagüez in 1911 and died in San Juan in 1989. In Puerto Rico, he studied at the St. Augustine Catholic Academy of Puerta de Tierra and the Central High School of Santurce. He later completed studies in law at Columbia University in New York and at the Central University (now the Complutense) in Madrid.

Upon his return to the island, Tió devoted himself fully to the field of letters, especially essay and journalism; he was an ardent supporter of cultural development in Puerto Rico, with a special interest in the preservation of the Spanish language. He worked at the University of Puerto Rico University Press (Editorial Universitaria) for many years. He also presided over the Puerto Rican Athenaeum and the Puerto Rican Academy of Spanish Language [Academia Puertorriqueña de la Lengua Española] and he was a member of the first Board of Directors of The Institute of Puerto Rican Culture.  In the late 1940s, Tió coined the terms Espanglish [Spanglish] and the less commonly-known inglañol as part of his critique of the loss of Spanish in many communities.

In his lifetime, he produced a large number of essays, poems, biographies, folk tales, and pedagogical manuals. His publications include A fuego lento–100 columnas de humor y una cornisa (1954) and Fracatán de tirabuzones (1975). Posthumously published works include Trópico en mi sangre (2009), Soy boricua porque soy (1995), Desde el tuétano (1992), and Lengua mayor: Ensayos sobre el español de aquí y de allá (1991).

[Many thanks to Luisa Samayoa for bringing this item to our attention.]

For more information on Salvador Tió (in Spanish), see

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