In May 2015 I squeaked into a packed session on contemporary Cuban writing at the Latin American Studies Association’s annual meeting. Among the many points of interest was the fact that I heard Rito Aroche named several times as a key figure amongst the various tendencies of contemporary poetry in recent decades.
In 2006 Roberto Manzano conducted an interview with his fellow writer Rito Ramón Aroche in Havana. AMNIOS magazine published the interview in 2012, and it was later reprinted at the website Cuba Literaria (overseen by the Cuban Book Institute). Unfortunately their page doesn’t currently load on any of my browsers, only a short line warning of malicious code. Perhaps this replacement is appropriate, since Aroche does something to deconstruct the framework of virtually every question asked by Manzano. Here are excerpts from their conversation, brought into English.
Rito Ramón Aroche (b. 1961) assembles and dismantles scene after scene in distinct poetry collections. Many pieces project such a heightened awareness of construction and destruction as to put anything called “reality” at a marked remove.