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?
Omar Pérez's books include CUBANOLOGY (2018), Lingua Franca (2010); Oíste hablar del gato de pelea? (1999, translated as DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE FIGHTING CAT? by Kristin Dykstra, 2010); and ALGO DE LO SAGRADO (1996, translated as SOMETHING OF THE SACRED by Kristin Dykstra and Robert Tejada, 2007). His translations include Italian-Cuban novelist Alba de Céspedes's Nadie vuelve atrás (2003); and Shakespeare's As You Like It (as Como Les Guste, 2000). He received Cuba's Nicolás Guillén Prize for Poetry for Crítica de la Razón Puta (2009) as well as its National Critics' Prize for his essay collection La perseverancia de un hombre oscuro (2000). His work has also been featured in the anthology The Whole Island: Six Decades of Cuban Poetry, A Bilingual Anthology (2009). Pérez was born and raised in Havana. He earned a degree in English at the University of Havana and studied Italian at the Universitá per Straniere di Siena. He has worked as a journalist for El Caimán Barbudo, and as an editor for the magazine La naranja dulce. A former member of the Cuban intellectual group Paideia, he edited the poetry magazine Mantis in the '90s. Ordained as a Zen Buddhist monk, Pérez composes poems that engage languages, Zen, and political and cultural transcendence. Author City: Havana CUB