As a reader Omar Pérez has a charismatic presence. Even when he adopts a low-key style of delivery, the poems resound. Audio recordings of five poems from his collection Algo de lo sagrado (1995) appear below. That book actually contains two sets of poems: the first half showcases work composed between 1982 to 1988, and the second half dates to 1990-1993.
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.
Where do you draw boundaries between a translator’s research and the collecting of stories about the poet? Stories expand on the truth while distorting the truth. Hearing them is an inevitable part of the translation process — or at least it has been for me, because I have translated materials over time from a series of writers with links to the same city, which means that my interpretations are partially influenced by the city's shifting artistic community.
Whereas Nelson Villalobos articulates visual qualities so important to the poetic gesticulations of Angel Escobar, Carlos A. Aguilera captures Escobar’s motion in terms of theater, another arena of expression that was important to the poet. Aguilera depicts Escobar’s lyric selves on stage, jerking through poems with the grace and awkwardness of marionettes. His remarks culminate with the audience's stunned and necessary silence.