Cuban poet Cintio Vitier dies

Cintio VitierFrom AFP news agency today:

Cuban poet Cintio Vitier dead at 88

HAVANA — Cintio Vitier, the Cuban poet, essayist and novelist, who won the Juan Rulfo prize for literature in 2002 and was considered one of Cuba‘s foremost intellectuals, has died aged 88.

Local television reported, without providing details, the death of Vitier, who also won Cuba’s National Literature Prize in 1988 and was awarded the title of Officer of Arts and Letters by France.

Born in Key West, Florida on 21 September, 1921, Vitier helped start the journal “Origins,” which brought together some of the island’s leading intellectuals.

His most famous works include “From Pena Pobre,” and volumes of poems including “Evenings” and “Testimonies.”

He was also awarded the Order of Jose Marti by then-Cuban President Fidel Castro for his studies on the Cuban independence figure.

Noam Chomsky on the Cuban 5: here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

4 thoughts on “Cuban poet Cintio Vitier dies

  1. Cuba and the South African anti-apartheid struggle

    Twenty years ago, Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison
    in Paarl, South Africa, on February 11, 1990. That historic victory was
    the product of the long and courageous struggle of the oppressed people
    of South Africa. It was also a victory for the international movement
    against apartheid. Revolutionary Cuba played a vital role in the
    international movement against white minority rule in South Africa, as
    the following article describes.

    * Read more


  2. Pingback: African-American poetess Aja Monet on police bruatality | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Tuesday 12th July 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Arts

    21st century poetry with Andy Croft

    CUBA has always attracted the passionate sympathies of poets everywhere. “Cuba, my love, they put you on the rack,” wrote Pablo Neruda in Canto General, “cut your face, pried open your legs of pale gold, crushed your pomegranate sex, stabbed you with knives, dismembered you, burned you.”

    The country’s national poets, Jose Marti and Nicolas Guillen, were revolutionaries and Che Guevara was also a poet.

    After the fall of Batista, poets like Allen Ginsberg, Nazim Hikmet, Yevgeny Yevtushenko and Hans Magnus Enzensberger visited Cuba to write about the revolution.

    But Cuban poetry was revolutionary long before the popular triumph of 1959 and has remained so because of — and sometimes despite — the profound changes that have taken place on the island since then.

    Nothing Out of This World: Cuban Poetry 1952–2000 is an introduction to the work of 36 poets from Cuba writing in the second half of the 20th century, including Luis Lorente, Nancy Morejon, Luis Rogelio Nogueras and Roberto Friol. The oldest poet, Fina Garcia-Marruz, was born in 1923 and the youngest, Damaris Calderon, in 1967.

    Edited and translated by Katherine M Hedeen, with a fascinating introduction by the poet Victor Rodriguez Nunez, also represented in the collection, Nothing Out of This World includes many of those poets who have been closely identified with the revolution.

    Miguel Barnet was the Cuban ambassador to Unesco for many years, while Robert Fernandez Retamar has been the director of the Casa de las Americas publishing house since 1965. Others, like Heberto Padilla and Raul Rivero, have been part of the Cuban diaspora.

    But, according to Victor Rodriguez Nunez, all of the poets in this book are revolutionary because they reject “solipsismo” in favour of a “dialogic poetry” based on an awareness of others and of society.

    Cuban poetry, he argues, is “a revolutionary poetry not because it’s realist and much less socialist realist. [It is] revolutionary not because it’s colloquial but because it renounces solipsism in diverse ways.”

    So there are no poems denouncing Yankee imperialism or hymns to Fidel. These poems are an extraordinary and heady mix, combining African and Spanish influences, realism and surrealism, colloquialism and the baroque, experiment and quiet commitment.

    This is Fina Garcia-Marruz (pictured), writing about Cuban history: “It is not in the books on rhetoric, revolution/where I find the images that might explain you,/but drawing closer to the formation of the currents,/to the fire rising from the insides of the earth/scattering heat and steam and light,/to the sea gnawing the limits of the earth/dragging along whatever it finds at its pace/to later shape new islands and continents.”

    And here is Miguel Barnet’s Revolution: “When the revolution arrived/the crowd entered my home/It seemed to rifle through the drawers, the closet,/change the sewing basket/That old silence ceased/and my grandmother stopped weaving memories,/she stopped speaking,/she stopped singing/Hopeful I saw, had to see,/how the light entered that room/when my mother opened the windows/for the very first time.”

    Nothing Out Of This World: Cuban Poetry 1952–2000 is published by Smokestack Books, price £10.95,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.