An Evening with Kristin Dykstra and Reina Maria Rodriguez

Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 6:30pm
2421 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77006

Poetry. A meditation on the power and limitations of images, THE WINTER GARDEN PHOTOGRAPH began as an homage to a magazine, The Courier, published by UNESCO. Reina Maria Rodriguez used the magazine's photographs of faraway places to spark an investigation of the mental landscapes comprising her own, contemporary Havana. "I think through / the breath in you; I think through / the blood in you" precisely in striving to inhabit other worlds, she pursues the self. With the original Cuban edition of this book, Rodriguez won her second Casa de las Americas Prize for Poetry. This edition includes a set of co-translations by Kristin Dykstra and Nancy Gates Madsen, and an interview with Rodriguez, conducted by Rosa Alcal.

Reina María Rodríguez (b. 1952) lives in Havana, Cuba. Among other career awards, she has won the 2002 Alejo Carpentier Medal for Achievement in Cuban literature, Cuba’s 2013 National Prize for Literature, and the 2014 Pablo Neruda Ibero-American Prize for Poetry. It is difficult to name her most important books due to the sustained quality of her writing. With La foto del invernadero (The Winter Garden Photograph), now in a bilingual edition from Ugly Duckling Presse, she took her second Casa de las Américas prize in 1998. Recent books of poetry by Rodríguez include El piano (The Piano) and Luciérnagas (Fireflies). Among her many books exploring prose and prose poetry are Páramos (Plains, which won the 1993 Julián del Casal prize as well as a 1995 National Critics’ Award), Otras cartas a Milena (Other Letters to Milena, 2003; bilingual edition published by the University of Alabama Press), a novel entitled Tres maneras de tocar un elefante(Three Ways to Touch an Elephant, which won the Italo Calvino Prize), Variedades de Galiano (Galiano St. Variety), Otras mitologías(Other Mythologies), and La caja de Bagdad.

Kristin Dykstra is the principal translator of Reina María Rodríguez The Winter Garden Photograph (UDP, 2019), and, with Kent Johnson, she is co-editor of Amanda Berenguer’s Materia Prima (UDP, 2018). She is the translator of Cubanology, a book of days by Omar Pérez (Station Hill Press), and Other Letters to Milena, a mixed-genre book by Reina María Rodríguez published by University of Alabama Press, which has also published her translations of Cuban authors Juan Carlos Flores, Angel Escobar, and Marcelo Morales. She is guest editor of a dossier dedicated to Flores (1962 – 2016) in The Chicago Review. The recipient of an NEA Literary Translation Fellowship, Dykstra won the inaugural Gulf Coast Prize for Literary Translation.

Nancy Gates Madsen is Associate Professor of Spanish at Luther College. She has published articles about the legacies of authoritarianism in Argentina on topics ranging from monuments and memorials to the representation of torture. Her book, Trauma, Taboo, and Truth-Telling: Listening to Silences in Postdictatorship Argentina (Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 2016), was awarded the Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize from the Modern Language Association for an outstanding publication in the field of Latin American or Spanish literatures and cultures. She is also the co-translator, with Kristin Dykstra, of Violet Island and Other Poems, an anthology of work by Reina María Rodríguez. Her current research explores the intersections of environmental issues and human rights in Latin American cultural production.

The Winter Garden Photograph Cover Image
ISBN: 9781946433220
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ugly Duckling Presse - April 1st, 2019