Poetry. Latino/Latina Studies. In the tradition of testimonial poets raúlrsalinas, Carolyn Forché, Luís Rodriguez, Martín Espada, Roberto Vargas and other politically-engaged writers, B.V. Olguín has written a lyric testament to the resilience of the Cuban people and their revolutionary spirit that has inspired legions throughout the world to fight for justice. These poems explore the forty-five year history of the Venceremos Brigade, of which the author is a member, and their support of the Cuban Revolution's commitment to privileging people over profits. The poems bear witness to brigadista exhilaration at working alongside revolutionaries who fought with Che Guevara in Cuba, Africa and Latin America, meeting nurses, doctors and dentists returning from international missions in underdeveloped nations, and debating the responsibilities of intellectuals with American expatriates working and studying in Cuba. Olguín's poetry also examines profound contradictions emerging in the Special Period, the myriad cultural clashes and human frailties that emerge in collective contexts, as well as the true meaning of volunteer work and the role of art in society. Written in an engaging conversational style, the poems are rich in metaphor, deep in metaphysical meaning, and always grounded in the material realities of a revolutionary context where people must struggle daily to produce their own food and products while remaining prepared to repel another U.S. invasion.
B.V. Olguín was born into a proletarian family and raised in the eastside barrio of Magnolia in Houston, Texas. He was an undefeated amateur boxer, and has worked as a unionized grocery worker, construction worker, prison educator, volunteer Emergency Medical Technician, and university professor. He received a BA from the University of Houston, and an MA and PhD from Stanford University. Olguín was a member of the 37th, 38th, 39th and 40th contingents of the Venceremos Brigade. He is also active in community journalism and prisoner rights struggles. He is a member of the Macondo Writer's Workshop, and is the author of Red Leather Gloves (Hansen in 2014), a collection of poetry. Olguín's poetry has been published in numerous journals, including Borderlands, Callaloo, and North American Review. B.V. Olguín is currently an Associate Professor of Literature and Creative Writing in the English Department at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Author City: SAN ANTONIO, TX USA