Translated by Abigail Parry and Serafina Vick
Legna Rodríguez Iglesias has quickly become one of the most celebrated Cuban poets writing today. Her intense – often confrontational – poetry refuses to conform, subverting expectations and challenging social mores. Particularly arresting is her uncomfortable focus on the human body, which she dramatises in isolation, stripping it of context, making it strange and even obscene. Alongside poems of extreme descriptive vigour, Rodríguez Iglesias irreverently skewers the hypocrisies, clichés and hierarchies of our time.
This selection offers a broad survey of Rodríguez Iglesias’s work, drawing on eight previous collections in Spanish. Throughout, the poems are inflected with Cuban history and explore the tensions between the generation of the Revolution and her own. The consequences of poet’s long-term residence in Miami are forcefully brought home through poems of emigration and estrangement.
The playfulness and verbal dexterity that marks Rodríguez Iglesias’s work in Spanish has been expertly brought to life in English by Abigail Parry, an award-winning poet whose debut collection Jinx was published by Bloodaxe in 2018, working in collaboration with bridge-translator and writer Serafina Vick.
‘Legna Rodríguez Iglesias is, I think, one of the most exciting Cuban voices around. She moved to Miami a few years ago, and writes these intense, sometimes confrontational poems that really skewer the clichés of modern life.’ – Imtiaz Dharker, introducing Legna Rodríguez Iglesias on BBC Radio 4’s Mother Tongue series
Spanish-English dual language edition