Afro-Cuban Poet Nancy Morejon Reads and Discusses Her Poetry
Afro-Cuban poet Nancy Morejon and poet-translator Kathleen Weaver in bilingual conversation with poet and radio host Nina Serrano. Nancy also reads her poems in Spanish and Kathleen reads the English translations.
Nancy Morejón is the best known and most widely translated woman poet of post-revolutionary Cuba. Born in 1944 in Havana to a militant dock worker and a trade-unionist seamstress, Morejón graduated from Havana University. She was Cuba’s first black woman poet to be internationally acclaimed as a poet. Her distinctive poetry is shaped by an Afro-Cuban sensibility and an eloquent concern for Cuban nationhood, cultural fusion, and the rights of women. She has published more than twenty volumes of poetry, as well as critical works and translations from French and English. Her works in English translation include Looking Within / Mirar adentro, Selected Poems 1954-2000, Where the Island Sleeps Like a Wing, translated by U.S. poet Kathleen Weaver, and With Eyes and Soul/Images of Cubawith photographs by Milton Rogovin. For many years, Morejon served on the editorial staff of UNEAC (Union of Cuban Writers and Artists). Currently she is president of the Cuban Writers’ Union, UNEAC, and an advisor at Casa de las Americas in Havana.
Morejón has won Cuba’s prestigious National Literary Award, the National Prize for Poetry, and the National Award in Criticism – as well as many international awards, including the Latin American Studies Association Cuba Prize. Thoroughly bilingual, she has read and lectured at universities in the U.S. She served as writer in residence at Wellesley College and conducted a two-day symposium on her work at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Howard University Press has published a collection of critical texts on her work: Singular Like a Bird: The Art of Nancy Morejon.
For Nancy Morejon’s 2013 San Francisco Bay Area tour see the KPFA .org calendar and click events.