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Excilia Saldaña

"In the Vortex of the Cyclone": Selected Poems by Excilia Saldaña: A Bilingual Edition


"A wonderful book, strong, with enormous energy, fast-paced, truly poetic, with a varied and rich vocabulary ranging from the vernacular to the exalted. This is poetry to be said aloud, sometimes chanted, sometimes shouted, sometimes sung . . . a book that is both original and significant."--Cola Franzen, translator of Horses in the Air and Other Poems, by Jorge Guillen

"A much-needed contribution to Afro-Cuban and Caribbean studies."--Vera M. Kutzinski, Yale University

The first-ever bilingual anthology by the Afro-Cuban poet Excilia Saldaña contains a wide-ranging selection of her work, from lullabies to an erotic letter, from lengthy autobiographical poems to quiet reflections on her Caribbean island as the inspiration for her writing. She celebrates her African ancestry with poems that are filled with the flora and fauna of Afro-Cuban rituals. She explores her feminine rites of passage in the context of her country's momentous journey. In these poems, Saldana weaves the personal, the mythical, and the literary, bringing together the domestic with the transcendental, the temporal with the eternal.

Known in Cuba as a poet, essayist, translator, and professor, Saldana won the prestigious Nicholas Guillen Award for Distinction in Poetry in 1998 and the La Rosa Blanca Prize for La Noche, a children's book, in 1989. Before her death in 1999, most of her work had appeared in Spanish exclusively in Cuba with only scattered translations. This collection emphasizes her construction of a personal and poetic autobiography to reveal the identity of one of the best Afro-Caribbean poets of the twentieth century.


Foreword by Nancy Morejon
Introduction by Flora Gonzalez Mandri
Anonymous Landscape
The Wife's Monologue
Through the Looking Glass
Lullabies: Lullaby for an Elephant Out for a Stroll, Lullaby for the Child-Cosmos, Lullaby for My Naughty Child, Lullaby for the Missing Daughter
I'm Thirsty, Grandmother
My Faithful One
My Name (A Family Anti-Elegy)
Unfinished Danzon for Night and Island
Afterword by Cintio Vitier

Flora Gonzalez Mandri is associate professor of writing, literature, and publishing at Emerson College, Boston.

Rosamond Rosenmeier is professor emerita at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.


Rinden homenaje a la escritora cubana Excilia Saldaña  7/9/2016 Librinsula: "Tarde hermosa la de este viernes trece de mayo en la Unión Nacional de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba (UNEAC), donde un grupo de escritores, colegas y familiares decidieron homenajear en su Aniversario 70 a la escritora de Literatura para niños Excilia Saldaña (7/VIII/ 1946-20/VII/ 1999), cuya obra durante muchos años alcanzó gran difusión en Cuba y en el extranjero. En su intervención de bienvenida el prestigioso escritor Virgilio López Lemus rememoró en Excilia “su alegría, simpatía, inteligencia creativa, mordaz, irónica por momentos y quien escribió uno de los libros más importantes de la Literatura infantil de todos los tiempos, La noche, un clásico de nuestra Literatura para niños al igual que para la Hispanoamericana." 


"In the Vortex of the Cyclone": Selected Poems by Excilia Saldaña: A Bilingual Edition

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