Moving between the speech and silence of a woman struggling to speak freely, Ruth Behar embarks on a poetic voyage into her own vulnerability and the sacrifices of her exiled ancestors as she tries to understand love, loss, regret, and the things we keep and carry with us. Behar’s vivid renderings of wilted gardens, crashing waves, and firefly-lit nights recall the imagery of her inspiration, Dulce María Loynaz, who is often known as the Cuban Emily Dickinson. Presented in a beautiful bilingual English-Spanish edition—Behar serves as her own translator—Everything I Kept/Todo lo que guardé will haunt readers with the cries and whispers which illuminate the human spirit and the spectrum of emotions that make for a life and lives well-remembered.
Featuring the work of more than fifty poets writing across the last eight decades, Only the Road / Solo el Camino is the most complete bilingual anthology of Cuban poetry available to an English readership. It is distinguished by its stylistic breadth and the diversity of its contributors, who come from throughout Cuba and its diaspora and include luminaries, lesser-known voices, and several Afro-Cuban and LGBTQ poets. Nearly half of the poets in the collection are women. Only the Road paints a full and dynamic picture of modern Cuban life and poetry, highlighting their unique features and idiosyncrasies, the changes across generations, and the ebbs and flows between repression and freedom following the Revolution. Poet Margaret Randall, who translated each poem, contributes extensive biographical notes for each poet and a historical introduction to twentieth-century Cuban poetry.
The World as Presence/El mundo como ser
Marcelo Morales, Introduced and Translated by Kristin Dykstra University of Alabama Press, 2016 Library of Congress PQ7392.M4694A2 2016 | Dewey Decimal 861.7
Marcelo Morales’s The World as Presence/El mundo como ser showcases, for the first time in English, a challenging, bold, and vivid new voice in Cuban literature.
Marcelo Morales was born in Cuba in 1977. He is an established, prize-winning writer, yet he is younger in comparison to most of the Cuban poets known internationally, many of whom were born prior to the 1959 revolution. While older generations of Cuban poets have wrestled in their work with social and political critique, those critiques have often been articulated through formal experimentation and abstraction, unsurprising given the censorship and the real threats of punishment that dissident writers have faced. Morales, however, directly interrogates both the Cuban past and present. References to many significant moments, people, and issues in Cuban history and culture can be found throughout his work.
Along with references to the activist group “The White Ladies,” the 1976 bombing of Cuban Airlines Flight 455, and the military aid that Cubans provided to Angola during its fight for independence, Morales’s poetry follows a timeline ranging from Martí to Guevara to the day of the 2014 announcement by Obama and Castro that diplomatic relations between the two nations would finally be restored. As Cuba experiences a series of historically remarkable transitions, Morales emerges from this context to offer an incisive poetic account of this critical moment in Cuban, as well as world, history.
The World as Presence/El mundo como ser is both the debut of this work in any language and the first English translation of a complete Morales collection. Given the bilingual format, this book will be of interest both to English and Spanish readers.