Translated by Kelly Washbourne
Reinaldo Arenas (1943-1990) remains one of the most famous Cuban writers in exile. His work constitutes a monument of resistance literature, but much of the focus has been on his novels and his autobiography, Before Night Falls, chosen as one of the ten best books of 1993 by the New York Times. Because his poetic output has not been widely translated,Autoepitaph is the first and only career-spanning volume of Arenas's poetry in translation in any language.
This bilingual volume includes narrative poems, sonnets, excerpts from Arenas's prose poems, and previously unpublished works from his papers at Princeton University. Both the Spanish originals as well as English translations seamlessly capture the poet's sarcasm, humor, and powerful rhythms. Camelly Cruz-Martes provides an outline for Arenas's major poetic strategies, as well as context for the themes that unite his poems: resistance against colonialism, political and personal repression, existential alienation, and the desire for transcendence through art.
University Press of Florida