Before it began to be used by these particular groups of poets, the term Nuyorican (an adaptation from the phrase New York Puerto Rican) and its variations (Newyorican, Neorican) carried negative connotations.
(1) The terms Neorican and Nuyorican have been frequently used to identify Puerto Ricans born or raised in the United States, although at the beginning they carried some negative connotations.
Mohr asserted that the term "Rican" is considered preferable to "Neorican
or Nuyorican" (which is seen as passe) by her and many other writers in her community.
As these texts frequently have a larger referentiality of the barrio, female experience, exile or immigran t life, and universal human striving, so too does the Mohr text, which is at once a set of deeply personal musings and a metaphor for NeoRican experience.
For the Puerto Rican and the NeoRican in New York/New Jersey, too, the border between the Caribbean island and the North American mainland is, in several senses, a porous one.
Yet, as he explains, "el poeta neoyorrican transforma el viejo mito de Puerto Rico como eden perdido y lo convierte en una utopia interna" ["the neorican
poet transforms the previous myth of Puerto Rico as a lost eden into an internal utopia"] (Barradas 1988: 74).
As Rivero puts it: "The closer [Cuban-American writers] get to an appreciation of minority life in American society, and the more they empathize with Chicanos and Neoricans
, the more alienated they become with respect to their original `exile culture'" (187).