Book Acquisitions

Alum/Author spotlight: Alejandro Heredia’s You’re The Only Friend I Need

Alejandros Book
Heredia, Alejandro. You’re The Only Friend I Need. Los Angeles, C.A.: Gold Line Press, 2021

We wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate and share our thoughts on queer Afro-Dominican writer and community organizer Alejandro Heredia’s debut collection of short stories You’re The Only Friend I Need, as well as briefly acknowledge his time with us at the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute. Alejandro worked as a research associate for three years helping us advance and develop several long-term projects at the Institute. One of those projects involved the forgotten early twentieth century Dominican writer Mercedes Mota and her experiences in the United States denouncing U.S. imperialism. Moreover, he was featured in a Manhattan Times article when CUNY launched the first “Dominican Studies Master’s Program” in 2017 where he expressed the importance of the program for a new generation of students.

Alejandro at CUNY DSI 2015
Alejandro Heredia pictured here at Institute amongst CUNY DSI junior scholars and research fellows in the summer of 2015.

At the end of 2021, Alejandro participated in CUNY DSI’s two-day international virtual conference The Struggle for Freedom in La Español: Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the First Slave Revolt in the Americas on the panel titled “Crafting Resistance: Artistic Renderings of the Dominican Imaginary” where he discussed revising Dominican origins and literary imagination.

Heredia’s debut short story collection You’re The Only Friend I Need illustrates how the complexity and nuance of friendship shapes the transnational lives of the Dominican diaspora by centering Blackness and Queerness. Throughout the four stories, Heredia explores Dominican migration and identity through an intimate, authentic, fierce, and compassionate lens that reveals the joy and unapologetic nature of his characters in a decidedly cruel world.

This story short collection was published in May of 2021, but we couldn’t help sharing this amazing read with our visitors. We highly recommend this book for professors, librarians, students, and the general public looking to read and uplift Afro-Dominican diasporic voices and Black LGBTQIA experiences.

Personal thoughts:

Librarian Ortiz: I was absolutely floored by the flow of beautiful words and use of Dominican dialect in this collection, and the incredible Black Queer characters that refused to be limited by their circumstances and never gave up searching for themselves through their friendships. The final story “1999” left me wanting more and needing to know what was going to happen next and whether everything would work out for the main character. 

Prof. Aponte: Alejandro has a way of describing intimacies with respect and grace… by reading his work; we get a glimpse into a world that exists in a very palpable way.

If you’d like to read and follow Alejandro’s work you can find him on Twitter and Instagram.

Jhensen Ortiz, Librarian

Prof. Sarah Aponte, Chief Librarian and Associate Professor

Prof. Anne Eller donates her first book to the Library

Prof. Sarah Aponte would like to thank Anne Eller, Assistant Professor of History at Yale University for donating her recent publication to the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library.


Eller, Anne.We Dream Together: Dominican Independence, Haiti, and the Fight for Caribbean Freedom. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 2016.

This book breaches the prevailing falsehoods surrounding the conflict between the Dominican Republic and Haiti by analyzing the complicated history of Dominican emancipation and independence between 1822 and 1865. Prof. Eller brings forth in her research the inclusiveness lacking in the small body of writing by Dominican elites. At the heart of the anti-colonial struggle is a story not often told of cooperation and collaboration between both countries in popular histories of identity, community, and deep archival research. More importantly, the book rewrites the nineteenth-century narrative in a broader context that helps readers understand beyond the fatal conflict narrative between the two nations.

We Dream Together is an essential resource for researchers, students and readers who are interested, Dominican and Haitian 19th Century History, Dominican-Haitian identities, and Dominican-Haitian relations. 

Assistant Librarian 

Jhensen Ortiz

Donaciones de Fundación Literaria Aníbal Montaño & Fundación Cuevas del Pomier

Agradecemos la grata visita y generosa donación de Ysabel Florentino, Presidenta de la Fundación Literaria Aníbal Montaño y José Corporán, Presidente de la Fundación Cuevas del Pomier.

Nuestra biblioteca cuenta con poemarios, cuentos, folletos y revistas informativos acerca de estas importantes fundaciones.



Nuestro colega y amigo Keiselim Montás dona cinco de sus publicaciones


Queremos agradecer una vez más al poeta y escritor Keiselim A. Montás por donar varios de sus libros a nuestra biblioteca. La donación es de siete de sus obras: Pequeños Poemas Diurnos, (2005), Como el agua (Élitro Proyecto Zompopos, 2016), Allá (Élitro Proyecto Zompopos, 2012), Amor de ciudad grande (Élitro Proyecto Zompopos, 2006), y Reminiscencias (Editora Nacional, 2007). Estos libros ya están disponible en nuestra biblioteca.

Gracias Keysi!!

Jhensen Ortiz
Asistente Bibliotecario

Reciente donación de Libros de Barlovento


Artesania dominicana002

La Profesora Sarah Aponte agradece a nuestros amigos Darlene Hull y René Grullón de Libros de Barlovento ( por la generosa donación del libro Artesanía Dominicana/Dominican Crafts a nuestra biblioteca. El libro es bilingüe en inglés y español para lectores interesados en aprender sobre el desarrollo de la artesanía dominicana y los esfuerzos que realizan las autoridades para darle su expansión.

Jhensen Ortiz
Bibliotecario Auxiliar

Playwright Marco Antonio Rodríguez donates to the DSI Library

Professor Sarah Aponte would like to thank Marco Antonio Rodríguez for donating two of his award winning plays “La Luz De Un Cigarrillo” and “Barceló con Hielo” to the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library.


Marco Antonio is a winner of the 2016 Dominican Archives & Library Research Grants and is conducting research on cultural and historical information to develop two forthcoming plays. Stay tuned!


Jhensen Ortiz

Assistant Librarian

Generosa donación sobre los derechos humanos y varios temas de importancia

Queremos dar las gracias a la Doctora Monisha Bajaj de la Universidad de San Francisco por donar más de veinte libros, informes y otros documentos a nuestra Biblioteca Dominicana. Esta donación contiene varios recursos publicados por la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos y Casa por la Identidad de las Mujeres Afro. 

Aquí una pequeña muestra de los libros que nos donó:


Jhensen Ortiz

Asistente de Biblioteca

Aurora Arias y Emoticons!


Como bibliotecaria en el CUNY Dominican Studies Institute, es un gran privilegio tener la oportunidad de conocer a grandes escritores  dominicanos que nos visitan y donan sus publicaciones.

Fue un verdadero placer conocer y compartir con la escritora Aurora Arias durante su cálida visita. Felices de que nos donara la última edición de Emoticons publicada por el sello editorial argentino Corregidor con un excelente prólogo escrito por Gabriela Tineo.

Gracias a la Prof. Sharina Maillo-Pozo por hacer posible este hermoso encuentro.

A Lost Literary Gem Recovered

Professor Sarah Aponte would like to thank Susan Moore, daughter of author Aurelio Moore for personally donating her father’s book to the CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library.

GAL_4414  GAL_4411

Moore M., Aurelio. Sinforiano: símbolo de una época (novela dominicana). Santo Domingo, República Dominicana: Editorial La Nación, 1963.

This is a revised second edition of a social realist novel that was first edited in New York in 1960 during the final days of the Trujillo dictatorship. According to the author, the book was burned and destroyed by the dictatorship and later re-constructed word by word. At 154 pages, the novel follows a straight forward narrative where its main character, Sinforiano, a construction worker, serves as literary device to tell the story of the Dominican people living under an authoritarian regime. This well researched novel has a didactic tone that gravitates between an artfully constructed fictional account of the tyranny and the resulting political resistance of readers to discover. This novel can be categorized as a “novela del dictador” [Dictator Novel] that is part of a larger literary tradition in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Sinforiano covers the period between 1930 and 1962. Throughout the novel, the reader will stumble upon references to well known—and some unheard of—cases of state repression, poor living conditions amongst the population, the 1937 Haitian Massacre, guerilla expeditions from abroad and political plots by revolutionaries who formed part of the internal resistance. All throughout, the novel captures the human suffering and sorrow Dominicans had to endure to win democratic rights and freedom as well as their active participation in the overthrow of the regime.

The novel is unique in many ways because it is not pessimistic and does not portray Dominicans as passive placing them at the center of the struggle against Trujillo. It is a literary gem.

Amaury Rodriguez,

Special Contributor

We are very grateful to Susan Moore for her kind visit and donation.

Generosa donación de Rocío Billini, Directora de Intercambios Académicos de la UASD

La Profesora Sarah Aponte agradece a la Directora Rocío Billini por conseguir denodadamente y donar a nuestra biblioteca una copia de la importante publicación: Historia de la UASD y de los estudios superiores, escrita por el Prof. Franklin J. Franco  (Santo Domingo: Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo; Editora Universitaria, 2007).


Le agradecemos a nuestra Directora, la Dra. Ramona Hernández, por hacernos llegar este valioso libro  que le fue entregado en su reciente viaje a la República Dominicana durante el lanzamiento de la primera traducción al inglés del libro: Los negros, mulatos, y la nación Dominicana / Blacks, mulattos, and the Dominican Nation también escrito por el Prof. Franco, una obra clásica que fue publicada en el 1969 y recientemente traducida al inglés por la Dra. Patricia Mason en el 2015, a través de una colaboración entre Routledge Press y el Instituto de Estudios Dominicanos. 

Esta donación contribuye a la valiosa colección bibliográfica del estimado y respetado Prof. Franklin J. Franco que se encuentra en nuestra biblioteca. Historia de la UASD constituye uno de los trabajos más completos realizados sobre la historia de la Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, la más antigua de nuestro continente y que fue fundada en 1538.

Jhensen Ortiz

Asistente Bibliotecario


Thank you Professor Danny Méndez for your visit and kind donation

CUNY Dominican Studies Institute’s Chief Librarian Sarah Aponte is happy to share information about Prof. Danny Méndez’s research visit from Michigan State University and the donation of his book to the Dominican Library
Méndez, Danny. Narratives of Migration and Displacement in Dominican Literature. New York, New York: Routledge Press, 2012. Print.


After requesting this book via interlibrary loan time after time, we finally get our very own copy from the author himself during his recent visit to the CUNY DSI Archives and Library. Prof. Méndez’s book is focused on narratives of migration and displacements in the works of Dominican contemporary writers. Throughout his book Prof. Méndez analyzes the works of Pedro Henríquez Ureña, Josefina Báez, Junot Díaz, and Loida Maritza Pérez while engaging critically with the different process of racial and identity constructions of the Dominican experience in the Dominican Republic before they embark on their journey to the United States. Moreover, he argues that "their representations of immigration and traveling in New York City reflect the racial, ethnic, class, and gender experiences that have marked their internalized conception of dominicanidad” at different historical junctures. Méndez explains that dialogues with past notions of gender, sexuality, and race gained in the Dominican Republic emerge displaced and link to new forms of dominicandad in the context of the United States.

We highly recommended this book for literary scholars and students with an interest in understanding Dominican literature and the works of Dominican authors dealing with themes of immigration, displacement, race, and identity.

During his research visit, Prof. Mendéz consulted The Normandía Maldonado Collection. He is currently exploring the cultural production of Dominican women in the arts particularly dance, music, and acting. To hear him speak, go to the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Congress in New York City from May 27-30th this year. He will be presenting about his latest research on the figure of Maria Montez. For more information on his presentation you can view the program here.

Jhensen Ortiz

Assistant Librarian