Absolute Solitude is the first major English-language translation of the prose-poetry of Dulce María Loynaz, one of Cuba’s most popular poets, who Juan Ramón Jiménez described as “archaic and new, a phosphorescent reality of her own incredibly human poetry, her fresh language, tender, weightless, rich in abandon.” Elevating solitude to ecstatic heights, Loynaz creates a picture of landscapes and private emotion, where the physical, spiritual, and visionary realms of poetry meet. Translator James O’Connor and Cuban writer Pablo Medina join us to discuss the work and legacy of this luminous Spanish-language poet.
About James O’Connor:
James O’Connor is a poet, playwright, and translator. He lived in Cuba from 1999-2000 and his translations of Loynaz have been published in literary magazines in both the United States and the United Kingdom. In 2007, Against Heaven, his translations of Loynaz’s poems in both verse and prose, was published in the U.K. by Carcanet Press and was shortlisted for the 2009 Popescu Award for Poetry in Translation. He lives in New York City with his two daughters.
About Pablo Medina:
A Cuban American poet and novelist, Medina has published 13 books over the course of his career, including poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and translations. His most recent books include the poetry collection The Man Who Wrote on Water and the novel Cubop City Blues.
He has received fellowships from the Oscar B. Cintas Foundation, the state arts councils of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Currently he is a professor in the Department of Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College and a director of its MFA Program.