Norma passed away on October 7th, 2021.
Norma Iris Velasco Santos, was born in Yauco. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from the Universidad Interamericana de San German where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She continued her studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City where she achieved her dream of becoming a fashion designer. For years she was a successful fashion designer in New York City. She then met her future husband, Tony Ramirez and together they had their beloved Cassandra. Soon after, she left with her family and settled in Puerto Rico. At the same time that she shared the work of parenting, she founded a company dedicated to the design of clothing for pre-teen girls. She sold the pieces in her own store and in different boutiques around the island. She also studied at the School of Plastic Arts, the Center for Advanced Studies and took courses on Shakespeare at la Interamericana.
Besides drawing and painting she also dedicated her free time to practice the piano. Her intellectual curiosity led her to study Theosophy, Philosophy, Psychology and even the so-called Occult Sciences and she read about Quantum Physics. She read Tarot cards, did Horoscopes and read palms. She was a dynamo of energy.
But above all she was a compassionate woman. She identified with the marginalized. It pained her to see another’s suffering and injustice.
Norma’s legacy and her memory lives on in her prose and poetry, in her drawings and paintings, in the countless gestures of compassion and finally in the hearts of those who loved her and those whom she loved.
Norma suffered a stroke in February 2009 which resulted in aphasia, a condition that makes it difficult for her to verbally express her thoughts. Aside from that she is completely lucid and was involved in every step of this endeavor to publish her poems.
The poems in this collection were written over a span of 40 years, were tucked away in a drawer and had not been shown to anyone. One day after her stroke she “found” them and allowed her husband Tony to read them. Thus started the process culminating in their publication. Through the publication of these poems Norma is again able to share her innermost thoughts and feelings.