I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to engage with so many in-
dividuals and institutions that helped me out of sheer love for Puerto Rican ­
music and the absolute certainty of its importance. My first thank you must
go to maestro Antonio Martorell, for allowing me to use his beautiful image
of Lucecita Benítez as the book’s cover.
I honor the memory of Roxana Pagés Rangel and Marvette Pérez, staunch
supporters of this book. Meeting up with them was always glorious. Thanks
to Jossianna Arroyo, María Mercedes Carrión, Javier Guerrero, Lawrence La
Fountain-­Stokes, Fred Moten, Juan Carlos Quintero-­Herencia, Julio Ramos,
Milagros Ricourt, Raquel Z. Rivera, Rafael Rojas, Xavier Totti, and Alexandra
Vazquez, who, at one time or another, lent concrete support to this proj­ect. I
owe much to Ana María Ochoa Gautier, who enthusiastically backed my foray
into ­ music studies. Thank you to my dear friends Ivette Hernández-Torres­
and Luis Avilés for their incredible generosity in lending me their lovely home
in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Over the years, their support truly amounted to the
equivalent of a year’s fellowship. Similarly, Yolanda Martínez-­San Miguel and
Eugenio Frías-­Pardo have shared their pied-­à-­terre in San Juan, Puerto Rico,
with me multiple times during the book’s last stages, making it pos­si­ble to
conclude my work in a relaxed and welcoming environment.
My bud José Quiroga is always on my intellectual horizon. I thank him
for his endless acuity and unwavering friendship. He is ­ family. Thanks to an-
other queer ­ br other, Arnaldo Cruz-­Malavé, for his constancy as much as his
discerning capacity. Deborah Vargas and Yolanda Martínez-San ­ Miguel have
been ­great colleagues in the profession, impor­tant interlocutors, and fun,
loyal friends. I have shared a steadfast personal and intellectual friendship
with Ana María Dopico since we began our ­careers, back in the heady 1990s.
Rubén Ríos ­ Ávila has influenced my thinking for years. First I admired him
from afar, for impossibly lucid lectures on baroque and neobaroque poetics;
then I had the honor of participating in Latin American queer studies panels
in the 1990s with him. He has been an intellectual rock for me. Arcadio Díaz
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