Víctor Rodríguez Núñez

Rootless places: Núñez, Queyras, Dunham

Orchid Tierney

J2 reviews editor and commentator Orchid Tierney reviews tasks by Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, Barking & Biting by Sina Queyras, and Cold Pastoral by Rebecca Dunham. Of tasks she writes, in part: “Núñez’s poems chronicle the peripheries of a Cuban homecoming while exploring the porousness of identity and nationalism so marked by a feeling of loss. ‘[I]dentity lurks,’ writes Núñez, ‘like a forgotten ring in a public bathroom.’ These poems are lucid, nomadic but not driftless in local memory as they prowl the geographies of migrant return and exile.”

J2 reviews editor and commentator Orchid Tierney writes on three poetry titles from this year and last.

The sea doesn't have to be a wall

Photograph taken by Havana poet Marcelo Morales on August 14, 2015. It depicts poet Richard Blanco with an enthusiastic crowd on the occasion of the reopening of the United States Embassy in Havana, Cuba. Courtesy of Marcelo Morales.

At the function dedicated to reopening the US Embassy in Havana, Richard Blanco read from a poem that declared: “No one is other, to the other, to the sea, whether / on hemmed island or vast continent, remember.”[2His poem, “Matters of the Sea,” projects optimism about unity and renewal — or is it didacticism? — diplomacy? All of the above? 

Look
Innocence is important
It has meaning
Look
It can give us
Hope against the very winds that we batter against it.

— Jack Spicer, from Admonitions (1958)[1

At the function dedicated to reopening the US Embassy in Havana, Richard Blanco read from a poem that declared: “No one is other, to the other, to the sea, whether / on hemmed island or vast continent, remember.”[2

Negotiations

Katherine Hedeen.  Photograph by Miah Rodríguez-Hedeen, 2015.
Katherine Hedeen. Photograph by Miah Rodríguez-Hedeen, 2015.

Katherine Hedeen has published translations and articles foregrounding a series of Latin American poets.  Much of her work deals with Cuban writing. Recently, though, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded her a fellowship to translate writing by Jorgenrique Adoum, informing her that this was the first NEA grant ever dedicated to Ecuadorian poetry.

Syndicate content