Here are the sights, sounds, and rhythms of Cuba, revealed in the evocative works of some of the finest Cuban and Cuban American poets of the twentieth century. In Burnt Sugar, bestselling translator Lori Marie Carlson and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Oscar Hijuelos have created an intimate collection of some of their favorite modern poems, all of which are informed by cubanía -- the essence of what it means to be Cuban. "Cuban" in this sense refers neither to ideology nor to geography but rather to the distinguishing characteristics of Cuban poetry as it has developed over time: clever verbal play, overt rhythmic notes, and an intensity of longing, whether religious, political, or amorous.
Many of these poems have never been translated into English before, and taken together they, as the editors say, "produce a vibrant, satisfying sound and vivid imagery. They allow for some understanding of modern-day preoccupations, contradictions, feelings, and attitudes considered to be Cuban." Stirring, immediate, and universal in its sensibility, Burnt Sugar is a luminous collection lovingly compiled by two of the world's foremost authorities on the subject.
"This is a fascinating collection that brings together writers from Cuba as well as those living in the diaspora. It underscores the many strains of Cuban poetry and its unique place in Hispanic literature. The anthology is an open invitation to know more about the authors included, to better acquaint ourselves with their work and contemporary Cuban poetry." -- Raquel Chang-Rodríguez, Distinguished Professor, The City College Graduate Center, CUNY
"There are many wonderful revelations in this seductive collection, but perhaps the greatest comes from the bittersweet taste of Cuba with which it leaves us -- the sense of the beloved island, forever present in the poetic act of remembering." -- Wendy Gimbel, author of Havana Dreams