The Island of My Hunger
Cuban Poetry Today
Edited by Francisco Morán
"Beyond Cuban diaspora and a ravaged homeland, these poets look inward to ponder existential questions, romantic affairs, religion, and implications of the decades-long rift between the United States and Cuba. . . Painstakingly translated and conveniently presented in bilingual format, The Island of My Hunger gathers poetry that seeks to dissect the politics and pain of Cuban life, and life outside of Cuba. Those new to Cuban poetry will surely benefit from this primer, as well as Morán's insightful contextualization of these poets and the post-Cold war school of Cubano aesthetic."
—Aaron Michael Morales, Indiana State University
Poetry Project Newsletter
"[Island of My Hunger] is a book of poetry written by Cubans on the island as well as the poets of the diaspora, painstakingly forming new language defined by the borders of poetry while defying the frontier of the ocean that surrounds them . . . . Rather than a boring thesis on Cuban politics, Island of My Hunger is pure poetry—pure art—wherein narratives are explored through abstractions . . . . There is nothing tame or tedious about these poems. Each poet writes as if they were tasked with creating and re-creating language out of necessity . . . . What connects these poets isn't just location, it's love—love of words, of language, and, of course, love of country. This collection is not uniformly abstract or narrative. Some poems are punchy, disjointed, lyrical pieces, while others are wickedly humorous and irreverent . . . . Island of My Hunger provides snapshots of an unforgivable Cuba full of contradictions . . . . This book is for anyone who likes rebellious, fantastical poems full of risks that disregard form. These poets are well read—knowing all the rules and thus, how to break them . . . . Island of My Hunger highlights the crisis that Cuban artists are facing, but as in most literary movements, writers use their craft to engage and transform culture. These writers are no different, agitating the written word in order to find themselves once again on the other side of the poem."
—Mariana Ruiz Firmat