Poetry. Latino/Latina Studies. Bilingual Edition. Translated from the Spanish by Kristin Dykstra. This book takes up the experiment of connecting Buddhist practices to an American landscape. In a 2008 interview Perez states, "If Buddhism is to have a role in Cuban life it must be in harmony with the basic ethical and natural values of this land; it must give, so to say, its blood and marrow to the soil." Perez seems to have thrown even "revolutionary" readers for a loop by pursuing that harmony, synthesizing island poetics with Zen Buddhism. What, asked his fellow writers, does Zen have to do with Cuba and its cultural traditions?
Born in 1964 in Havana, Cuba, Omar Pérez López is a member of the first generation to live fully under the auspices of the island's post-1959 government: children raised to envision the present and future in socially experimental terms. His second poetry collection, O¡ste hablar del gato de pelea?, or DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE FIGHTING CAT?, offered a mature, yet unusual, response to that ongoing challenge. The book was originally published by Letras Cubanas in 1998. Pérez' literary career ranges from poetry to essays and translations. His first book of poetry was the highly regarded ALGO DE LO SAGRADO (Havana: Unión, 1996), reprinted in a bilingual edition from Factory School with translations by Kristin Dykstra (New York, 2007). He was awarded Cuba's Nicolás Guillén Prize for Poetry for Crítica de la razón puta in late 2009, and early 2010 saw the release of his multilingual book of poems, Lingua Franca (Unión). Author City: Havana CUB