Ayendy Bonifacio was born in Santiago De Los Caballeros, Dominican Republic and raised in East New York, Brooklyn. He holds a Ph.D. in English from Ohio State University. His areas of scholarship include American literature and culture, including Latino/a/x studies; digital humanities; public humanities; transamerican poetics, specifically the reprint poem as a form of public discourse; and hemispheric studies. His current book project, Poems Go Viral: Reprint Culture in the US Popular Press (1855-1866), draws examples from over 200 English- and Spanish-language popular dailies and weeklies between January 1855 and December 1866. This book studies what Bonifacio calls the virality of nineteenth-century poems. Akin to the way an image, video, and a piece of information go viral on the internet today, certain popular poems and poets circulated rapidly and widely through newspaper reproduction. His research is published and/or forthcoming in American Periodicals: A Journal of History, Criticism, and Bibliography; Prose Studies: History, Theory, Criticism; Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature; Postcolonial Interventions: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Postcolonial Studies; The Journal: A Literary Magazine; and The American Review of Books. He is also the author of Dique Dominican (Floricanto Press, 2017) and To The River, We Are Migrants (Unsolicited Press, 2020). In 2018, The Latino Author named Dique Dominican one of the “top ten best non-fiction books of 2017.”
Bonifacio is the 2018 recipient of the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) Caribbean Studies Essay Award and the 2019 winner of the Digital Media Prize for Outstanding Graduate Work from the Ohio State University. He has presented at professional conferences including the Modern Language Association (MLA); the MLA International Symposium; C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists; and the American Language Association (ALA). As a literary historian, he applies digital methods to traditional literary studies to make his work accessible to his students and the public. As a result, Bonifacio has worked on several digital humanities projects. In the summer of 2015, he participated in an NEH-sponsored program in New York City called “City of Print: New York and the Periodical Press” where he began his work on digitizing newspaper poems. He continued this work in the Fall of 2015, contributing to The Early Poems of Sarah Morgan Bryan (Piatt) in the New York Ledger, 1857-1860, a collaborative DH project with the Ohio State University Rare Books and Manuscripts Library (RBML) and The Ohio State University Knowledge Bank. This project digitizes for free public access all the known early poems by Sarah Morgan Bryan (Piatt) published in the New York Ledger, one of the most popular story papers of the nineteenth century. This crucial and substantial digital resource launched in the Spring of 2019, in commemoration of the Piatt Centennial. In the Spring of 2018, he worked with the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) to digitize El Cronista, a popular Spanish-language newspaper printed in mid-nineteenth-century New York City. In the summer of 2018, Bonifacio was selected to participate in The Digital Media and Composition Institute (DMAC). Bonifacio currently manages “The José Martí Page” for Recited Verse (forthcoming 2020), an online social community dedicated to creating and sharing original audio recordings of poetry sponsored by The University of San Francisco.
Bonifacio has taught in-person, online, and hybrid classes on composition and literature with themes such as nineteenth-century periodical culture, introduction to fiction, popular culture, hip-hop and rock lyrics as contemporary poetic form, hemispheric approaches to Latinx writers, and the Latinx nineteenth century.