Event | Discussion

Towers, Letters, and Ferris Wheels: Alternative Spaces for Cuban Writing

In Spanish

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar “Cuban Futures Beyond the Market” presents:

Alternative Spaces of Cuban Cultural Life: Torre de Letras, La Noria, and Colección G.

Click to listen to the conversation that Cuban authors and critics Reina María Rodríguez, Gilberto Padilla, and Oscar Cruz, sustained with Walfrido Dorta (In-house Postdoctoral Fellow, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar “Cuban Futures Beyond the Market”). The event was introduced by Ana Dopico, Director of the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center.

Reina María Rodríguez (Havana, 1952) is recognized not only as a major poet but as an advocate for alternative cultural spaces in Cuba. She used her rooftop home, informally known as La azotea de Reina, as an intellectual salon that has impacted literary life in Havana for three decades. Rodríguez founded the publishing project Torre de Letras, with more than 60 books from writers such as Sergio Pitol and José Kozer, to name a few. She has won two Casa de las Américas literary prizes (1984 and 1998), three National Critics’ Awards (1992, 1995, and 1999), the National Literature Prize (2013), and the Pablo Neruda Ibero-American Award for Poetry (2014).

Gilberto Padilla (Havana, 1984) is essayist, critic and professor. He currently works in the Centro de Formación Literaria Onelio Jorge Cardoso in Havana, and is in charge of the publishing house Cajachina. Padilla is the director of Colección G., where young writers such as Jorge E. Lage, Ahmel Echevarría, and Legna Rodríguez have published. He also contributes to digital media, including El Estornudo and Hypermedia. Padilla has won the ALBA Essay Award (2011) and the International Essay Prize Temas (2012), among other awards.

Oscar Cruz (Santiago de Cuba, 1979) is the editor of the literary journal La Noria, with headquarters in Santiago de Cuba. He has been awarded several literary prizes in Cuba and has been invited to present his work in Venezuela, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, and Italy. He has published books of poetry such as Los malos inquilinos (2008), Las posesiones (2010), Balada del buen muñeco (2013), and most recently La Maestranza (2014), among others. His work has been translated into English, French, Italian, Hindi, and Portuguese.

Gilberto Padilla, Antonio José Ponte, Reina María Rodríguez, Oscar Cruz, and Walfrido Dorta