TÍTULO / TITLE is a book of poems by the Cuban poet, prose writer, and playwright Legna Rodríguez Iglesias, published here for the first time in Spanish, and in English translation by Katherine M. Hedeen. Rodríguez Iglesias belongs to the so-called Generation Zero in Cuba, those born after 1970 and who publish after 2000. After the fall of European socialism, Generation Zero grew up with few opportunities and little future, and its poetry embodies the crisis. TÍTULO / TITLE does so by affirming a poetics of ugliness—the quotidian ugliness of poverty. Material need signals spiritual need. In an experimental, asphyxiating rush of repetition and enjambment, TÍTULO / TITLE chronicles separation, alienation, unease, madness, illness while it presents readers with a unique vision of queerness, humanity, poetry. None of it is exceptional. These poems do not fall back on exotifying stereotypes. Instead, they offer a critical perspective of all sides. There is a brilliant grayness to this poetry that rejects how Cubans are supposed to write their reality, on either side of the Gulf.
“Legna Rodríguez Iglesias is one of the most celebrated Cuban poets of the post-millennium generation. By turns outspoken, funny, dark, and strange, the highly associative poems in this book bristle with a queer energy, and they gleefully desacralize both Cuba and the U.S. On the surface, Rodríguez Iglesias’s writing is defiantly anti-poetic, yet Hedeen’s translations carefully convey the nested quality of the Spanish originals: love poems and/as political satire (or is it the other way around?).”—Urayoán Noel
Legna Rodríguez Iglesias was born in 1984 in Camagüey, Cuba and now lives in Miami, where she writes a column for the online journal El Estornudo. Recent publications include My Favorite Girlfriend was a French Bulldog (a novel in fifteen stories, from McSweeney’s) and Miami Century Fox (poetry, from Akashic). Among her literary awards are the Centrifugados Prize for Younger Poets (Spain, 2019), the Paz Prize (the National Poetry Series, 2017), the Casa de las Américas Prize in Theater (Cuba, 2016), and the Julio Cortázar Ibero-American Short Story Prize (2011).
Katherine M. Hedeen has translated some of the most respected voices from Latin America. She is a recipient of two NEA Translation grants in the US and a PEN Translates award in the UK and is poetry in translation editor at the Kenyon Review. She resides in Ohio, where she is Professor of Spanish at Kenyon College.
Subscribe to Kenning Editions to receive this and every book in our 2019-2020 season, among others: Audre Lorde’s Dream of Europe, Grenade in Mouth: Some Poems of Miyó Vestrini, Kevin Killian’s Stage Fright: Selected Plays from San Francisco Poets Theater, There Three by Devin King, and The Chilean Flag by Elvira Hernández, translated by Alec Schumacher, and with an introduction by Cecilia Vicuña.