O, Miami presents two of the most important living poets of Cuban descent.
José Kozer reads in his first appearance in Miami since winning the Pablo Neruda Ibero-American Poetry Prize.
Reina María Rodríguez, winner of the 2013 National Prize for Literature (Cuba), also reads.
José Kozer (Havana, 1940) is the son of parents who migrated to Cuba from Poland and Czechoslovakia in the 1920s, and the grandson of a founder of Adath Israel, Cuba’s first Ashkenazi synagogue. He studied law at the University of Havana, left Cuba in 1960, and received a BA from NYU in 1965. He taught for many years at Queens College of the City University of New York, retiring as a full professor in 1997, after which he lived for two years in Spain before settling in South Florida. He is the author of over 65 collections of verse. His most recent, No buscan reflejarse (2002), a selection from past volumes, is the first poetry collection by a living Cuban exile to be published in Havana. Two small bilingual collections of his poems, The Ark Upon the Number (1982) and Prójimos / Intimates (Barcelona, 1990), both translated by Ammiel Alcalay, have been published. His own far more comprehensive selection of poems, Stet, with translations by Mark Weiss, is available as a bilingual edition from Junction Press. He is also coeditor, with Roberto Echavarren and Jacobo Sefamí, of Medusario Muestra De Poesia Latinoamericana/ a Sampling of Latin American Poetry (1996). “Rebirth of Kafka” appeared in Bajo este cien (1983).
Reina María Rodriguez was born in Havana in 1952, less than a decade before the Cuban revolution. She is the winner of the 2013 National Prize for Literature (Cuba). In Cuba, Rodríguez is recognized not only as a major poet but as an advocate for alternative (non-state) cultural spaces. She used her rooftop home, informally known as la azotea de Reina, as an intellectual salon that has been important in Havana for two decades. Among Rodríguez' publications are La gente de mi barrio (1978); Cuando una mujer no duerme (UNEAC, 1980); Para un cordero blanco (Casa de las Américas, 1984); En la arena de Padua (Ediciones Unión, 1992); Páramos (Ediciones Unión, 1993); La foto del invernadero (Casa de las Américas, 1998); and the anthology Ellas escriben cartas de amor. Reina María Rodríguez has won two Casa de las Américas Prizes (1984, 1998), three National Critics' Awards (1992, 1995, 1999), and two Julián de Casal Prizes (1980, 1983). English translations of her work include La Detencion del Tiempo/Time’s Arrest (Factory School 2005), and Violet Island and Other Poems (2004) and The Winter Garden Photography (2009), both from Green Integer.