Absolute Solitude: Selected Poems (Paperback)
Archipelago Books, 9780914671220, 240pp.
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
In the first comprehensive selection and translation of Dulce Maria Loynaz's poetry, James O'Connor invites us to hear the haunting voice of Cuba's celebrated poet, whom the Nobel Laureate Juan Ramon Jimenez terms in his Foreword, "archaic and new...tender, weightless, rich in abandon." Widely published in Spain during the 1950s, Loynaz's poetry was almost forgotten in Cuba after the Revolution. International recognition came to her late: at the age of ninety she was living in seclusion in Havana when the Royal Spanish Academy awarded her the 1992 Cervantes Prize, the highest literary accolade in the Spanish language. The first English publication of her work, Absolute Solitude contains a selection of poems from each of Loynaz's books, including the acclaimed prose poems from Poems with No Names, a selection of posthumously published work.
About the Author
Dulce Maria Loynaz (1902-1997), "the grande dame of Cuban letters," received international recognition in 1992 for her nearly century-long contributions to Spanish letters when she was awarded the Cervantes Prize, widely recognized at the highest prize in Spanish literature. Often called the "Emily Dickinson of Cuba," her poems are celebrated for their precision and modern lyricism. Though born to a patriotic family - her father, General Enrique Loynaz del Castillo, was a national figure, having fought under Antonio Maceo in Cuba's war for independence - she stopped publishing for several decades following the 1959 Cuban Revolution, as her deeply personal style and themes were incongruous with the period's ideological control over the arts. She died in Havana City, the same city in which she was born, in 1997. About the Translator: James O'Connor is a poet, playwright, and translator from New York City. He has lived in France, Mexico, and from 1999 to 2000 he lived in Havana, Cuba. In 2006 he was awarded a playwriting fellowship from the Edward F. Albee Foundation.