Conference on the work of Aimé Césaire with Nancy Morejón

Join us on Monday 25th January 2016 from 5pm at the University of the West Indies for a stimulating conference on the work of Aimé Césaire and its impact on literature and social movements in the Caribbean.

The conference, organised by The Alliance française and the University of the West Indies in collaboration with The Embassy of Cuba and the Embassy of France in Trinidad & Tobago, is a rare opportunity to discuss perspectives on Césaire’s works with Nancy Morejón, the most internationally successful and widely translated Cuban woman poet of the post-revolutionary period.




Morejon_01_bodyNancy Morejón is one of Cuba´s foremost poets and intellectuals. She was born in 1944 and grew up in an old neighbourhood of Havana. A graduate of the University of Havana at 1966 with a degree in French language and Literature, she has published translations of French and English-speaking Caribbean writers. Her lyrical verse, shaped by an Afro-Cuban sensibility and a feminist consciousness, evokes the intimacy of family, the ephemerality of love, and the significance of Cuban history. She has also translated poetry by Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Éluard, Aimé Césaire, Érnest Pépin, Édouard Glissant, Patrick Chamoiseau and Margaret Atwood, among many others and she has adapted plays by Moliere and Shakespeare for the Cuban stage at the end of the eighties.

The writing of Nancy Morejon is critically acclaimed in Cuba, where she has won many awards, including the 2001 National Award for Literature. She has gained an international reputation for her poetry, which has been translated into several languages, anthologized in many collections, and become the subject of numerous critical studies, including thesis’s and dissertation’s. The poet is best known in the United States through the very first bilingual anthology Where the Island Sleeps Like a Wing, translated by Kathleen Weaver and published by The Black Scholar Press in San Francisco, California.

She has also read and lectured at universities throughout the country and has served as writer-in-residence at Wellesley College and the University of Missouri-Columbia, which, in 1995, conducted a two-day symposium on her work coordinated by profesor Juanamaría Cordones-Cook and published the papers in a special issue of the Afro-Hispanic Review. Howard University Press at Washington D.C. published in 1999 a collection of critical essays on her work: Singular Like A Bird: The Art of Nancy Morejon, compiled and prefaced by Miriam DeCosta-Willis, Ph.D. An anthology of her poems (Richard brought his flute) edited by Mario Benedetti, Visor Books, was published in Madrid during the Spring of 2000.  In 2003 an anthology appeared Looking Within / Mirar adentro (Selected poems 1954-2000) (Bilingual edition)1

Her published works include more than fifty volumen of poems which mainly has been translated into the most outstanding modern languages. Since 1972, one of the leading critics of Nicolás Guillen, Morejon has published numerous articles and books on this author. The award winning Nacion y mestizaje en Nicolas Guillen has become canonical for this poet’s scholarship. She is also an essayist who has spread her theories on critical studies of Cuban and Caribbean history and literature through ten published volumes.

Among many others she has been awarded with the Yari-Yari Award by the University of New York in 2004; The Golden Wreath (Macedonia, 2006), Rafael Alberti Award (2008). Salamanca University in Spain has celebrated her work in 2008 publishing an anthology of her poems. December 2009 Cuarto propio Press from Chile published Soltando amarras y memorias a critical volume by Juanamaría Cordones-Cook on Morejón´s work and in January 2009 she has received an Honoris Causa Degree at Cergy-Pontoise Paris University. She has also received the LASA 2012 Award, in San Francisco, California, «for her Meaningful Lifetime Work». In February 2013 she was awarded with the Medal on Arts and Letters by the Republic of France. In october 2013 she won The Cuban Youth Master Medal given by the AHS. Her more recent book in English is: Homing Instincts, San José, California, ed. Cubana Books, 2014. Currently, she is, by election, the Director of the Cuban Academy of Language and the Director of

Revista Unión, a magazine from UNEAC. She is also an advisor at Casa de las Américas in Havana.