Kenning Editions presents a bilingual reading with Urayoán Noel and Legna Rodríguez Iglesias, to launch TÍTULO / TITLE, a book of poems by the Cuban poet, prose writer, and playwright Legna Rodríguez Iglesias, published 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 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).
Urayoán Noel is a Puerto Rican poet, performer, translator, and critic. He has published seven books of poetry and the study In Visible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam, and he has been a finalist for the National Translation Award and the Best Translated Book Award for his translations of Latin American poetry. Noel lives in the Bronx and teaches at New York University.
Daniel Borzutzky introduces. Borzutzky’s books and chapbooks include, among others, Lake Michigan, In the Murmurs of the Rotten Carcass Economy, Memories of my Overdevelopment, and The Book of Interfering Bodies. He has translated Raúl Zurita’s The Country of Planks and Song for his Disappeared Love, and Jaime Luis Huenún’s Port Trakl. Borzutzky was Chief Editor of Kenning Editions from 2017-2020.
September 13, 2020, 4:00 PM EST.
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