• Only the Road ⁄ Solo el Camino: Eight Decades of Cuban Poetry

    Editor(s): Margaret Randall
    Translator(s): Margaret Randall
    Pages: 528
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
  • Cloth: $109.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-6208-1
  • Paperback: $28.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-6229-6
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  • Introduction  1
    Nicholás Guillén  22
    Dulce María Loynaz  30
    Emilio Ballagas  40
    Felix Pita Rodríguez  50
    José Lezama Lima  56
    Virgilio Piñera  64
    Mirta Aguirre  72
    Samuel Feijóo  80
    Gastón Baquero   86
    Cleva Solís  96
    Eliseo Diego  102
    Cintio Vitier  116
    Fina García Marruz  126
    Carilda Oliver Labra  134
    Fayad Jamís  142
    Pablo Armando Fernández  152
    Roberto Fernández Retamar  160
    Heberto Padilla  170
    Antón Arrufat  176
    Georgina Herrera  188
    Lourdes Casal  198
    Miguel Barnet  204
    Basilia Papastamatíu  210
    José Kozer  216
    Belkis Cuza Malé  224
    Luis Rogelio Nogueras  232
    Nancy Morejón  238
    Minerva Salado  250
    Lina de Feria  256
    Magali Alabau  262
    Excilia Saldaña  270
    Mirta Yáñez  278
    Raul Hernández Novás  284
    Luis Lorente  294
    José Pérez Olivares  302
    Soleida Ríos  310
    Norberto Codina  320
    Reina María Rodríguez  332
    Alex Fleites  348
    Victor Rodríguez Núñez  356
    Marilyn Bobes  372
    Alfredo Zaldívar  380
    Ángel Escobar  390
    Ramón Fernández-Larrea  400
    Sigfredo Ariel  410
    Alberto Rodríguez Tosca  418
    Caridad Atencio  426
    Omar Pérez López  432
    Laura Ruiz Montes  438
    Damaris Calderón  448
    María Elena Hernández  454
    Alessandra Molina  464
    Milena Rodríguez Gutiérrez  470
    Israel Domínguez  478
    Luis Yuseff  486
    Anisley Negrín Ruiz  494
    Acknowledgments  501
    Sources  505
     
  • A 2016 World Literature Today Notable Translation

  • "Randall’s collection of poetry is encyclopedic, including a vast stylistic range representative of a range of generations, some little-known voices as well as a number of LGBTQ writers. . . . Those that love poetry and are interested in seeing the work of Cubans, and especially those that also speak Spanish, should get this excellent collection."

    "This anthology serves as a broad, bilingual survey of Cuban poets born during the twentieth century. Special attention is paid to diversity, with women making up nearly half of the authors represented. While it’s difficult to make generalizations about style with so many on display, the sum effect is that of a time-lapse shot taken over multiple generations that shows a kind of undeniable truth about the essence of Cuban poets and their craft."

    "I recommend Only the Road/Solo el camino highly. It’s a beautiful collection of poetry, some that has not been published in English translation and will be new to readers. It is also a corrective to the biased view of Cuban literature as repressed or propaganda depending on how widely published it is. We are opening up to Cuba finally, so it is incumbent on us to understand it better and how better than through its poetry."

    "Now a North American readership that knows little of foreign literatures may be able to read one of the best and most applauded poetries on the continent, as it comes to know the spiritual side of Cuba that the U.S. blockade has prevented it from experiencing first-hand." (translated from the Spanish)
     

    "Bilingual and including short biographies of each poet, Only the Road / El Solo Camino emphasizes diversity as well as excellence, aiming for a balance that asserts that great poetry can be written by any person regardless of class, gender or race. Randall has spent years in Cuba and so is familiar with its people, its culture and its art; her knowledge is clear in her book’s introduction, which attempts to present Cuba’s recent history in a light unbiased by popular opinion."

    "Including the work of Cuban poets living both on and off the island, this beautifully edited work is one of the most comprehensive volumes of contemporary Cuban poetry translated into English. . . . Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers."
     

    Awards

  • A 2016 World Literature Today Notable Translation

  • Reviews

  • "Randall’s collection of poetry is encyclopedic, including a vast stylistic range representative of a range of generations, some little-known voices as well as a number of LGBTQ writers. . . . Those that love poetry and are interested in seeing the work of Cubans, and especially those that also speak Spanish, should get this excellent collection."

    "This anthology serves as a broad, bilingual survey of Cuban poets born during the twentieth century. Special attention is paid to diversity, with women making up nearly half of the authors represented. While it’s difficult to make generalizations about style with so many on display, the sum effect is that of a time-lapse shot taken over multiple generations that shows a kind of undeniable truth about the essence of Cuban poets and their craft."

    "I recommend Only the Road/Solo el camino highly. It’s a beautiful collection of poetry, some that has not been published in English translation and will be new to readers. It is also a corrective to the biased view of Cuban literature as repressed or propaganda depending on how widely published it is. We are opening up to Cuba finally, so it is incumbent on us to understand it better and how better than through its poetry."

    "Now a North American readership that knows little of foreign literatures may be able to read one of the best and most applauded poetries on the continent, as it comes to know the spiritual side of Cuba that the U.S. blockade has prevented it from experiencing first-hand." (translated from the Spanish)
     

    "Bilingual and including short biographies of each poet, Only the Road / El Solo Camino emphasizes diversity as well as excellence, aiming for a balance that asserts that great poetry can be written by any person regardless of class, gender or race. Randall has spent years in Cuba and so is familiar with its people, its culture and its art; her knowledge is clear in her book’s introduction, which attempts to present Cuba’s recent history in a light unbiased by popular opinion."

    "Including the work of Cuban poets living both on and off the island, this beautifully edited work is one of the most comprehensive volumes of contemporary Cuban poetry translated into English. . . . Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers."
     

  • "Every compendium attempts to explain something. Because it includes voices 'from inside and out,' the book readers hold in their hands demonstrates the continuities and coincidences, departures and ruptures, of a process that is human as well as literary. It is history in other codes." — Silvio Rodríguez, Cuban singer-songwriter

    "The glory and triumph of Margaret Randall’s gathering comes directly from a half century spent in and out of Cuba, the work of a participant-observer and a poet attuned to the work of others in a country long the seat of one of the world’s great centers of poetry with strong attachments to the world at large. Her voice as a translator is impeccable, close up and audible and open to all sides of what has been a long and complicated—and often contradictory—history. That so much is present here—old and new, simple and richly complex, at home and in exile—makes this an assemblage that goes to the limits of what such a gathering can possibly be. As a work for the understanding of what has happened so near to us and so far away, Only the Road is a book not only for the here and now but also for the ages." — Jerome Rothenberg

    "Only the Road is a major cultural intervention at a crucial time when both the Spanish- and English-speaking literary world and beyond may experience—be moved by, delight in, weep with—the power and historical importance of a forceful body of work that defines an immense cultural legacy. This is a magnificent time to open the floodgates of a further-to-be-known poetry; a magnificent tome to enhance our détente with Cuba. Cuba: its hopes and fears, its dreams, its promise, its extraordinary intellectual rigor, its poetic literacy and resistance, its survival, a poetry captured here of over eight decades, entangled with a unique and complicated history, that anyone paying attention today cannot ignore. Margaret Randall, prodigious poet, writer, thinker, translator, editor, teacher, activist has accomplished a task of a lifetime. She has given full voice to this small island’s powerfully diverse universe. The poets here are individually—racially, politically, sexually—complex, with life stories that are captured here as well, human and heroic. Randall exhibits great care and integrity to the task. Brilliant work. 'see that you don’t abandon them./islands are imaginary worlds./cut from the sea. they journey in the loneliness of rootless lands.' (Reina Maria Rodriquez)"  — Anne Waldman, Poet, Artistic Director of the Kerouac School Summer Writing Program

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  • Description

    Featuring the work of more than fifty poets writing across the last eight decades, Only the Road / Solo el Camino is the most complete bilingual anthology of Cuban poetry available to an English readership. It is distinguished by its stylistic breadth and the diversity of its contributors, who come from throughout Cuba and its diaspora and include luminaries, lesser-known voices, and several Afro-Cuban and LGBTQ poets. Nearly half of the poets in the collection are women. Only the Road paints a full and dynamic picture of modern Cuban life and poetry, highlighting their unique features and idiosyncrasies, the changes across generations, and the ebbs and flows between repression and freedom following the Revolution. Poet Margaret Randall, who translated each poem, contributes extensive biographical notes for each poet and a historical introduction to twentieth-century Cuban poetry. 
     

    About The Author(s)

    Margaret Randall is the author of dozens of books of poetry and prose, including Haydée Santamaría, Cuban Revolutionary: She Led by Transgression and Che on My Mind, both also published by Duke University Press.
Spring 2017
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