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Hispanic Heritage and News–great review of Everyday Chica!

October 18, 2012
Documentarian Adelin Gasana at UCF

Documentarian Adelin Gasana and HASA members after screening of Cuban America

Hello friends,

From mid September through mid October, UCF (and other places) celebrate Hispanic  Heritage.  As advisor to the Hispanic American Student Association (HASA), I am always happy to suggest events such as the October 1st screening of the documentary Cuban America by Adelin Gasana.  HASA members and the public were invited to view this fascinating film that describes the impact Cubans and Cuban Americans have had on Miami.  Among the very many interviewed, Gasana contacted me to relate the Miami of the 1980s when the Mariel Boatlift exiles arrived in an already very challenging era–the height of the cocaine cowboys, the aftermath of the McDuffie Riots etc.  Check this film out and invite Adelin Gasana to come to your school for a screening.  Here’s the link to the FB page of the director.

And some very exciting news–a new and wonderful  review of my chapbook Everyday Chica published in Wisconsin Verse by Lucia Cherciu, a Professor of English at SUNY / Dutchess and author of two books of poetry: Lepădarea de Limbă (The Abandonment of Language) and  Altoiul Râsului (Grafted Laughter).

Chircu’s review notes the significance of  the longest piece in the collection:

The focal point of the chapbook is “Cuban American Manifesto,” in which Rodríguez Milanés declares “I want to write a Cubaniche poem / full of rhumba, conga y chachacha / con azúcar sazón café Tabaco y salsa / a Cuban poem for those over there / a Cuban American poem for those over here” (22). The poet uses long sentences, drops punctuation, and develops her voice along the seven pages of the poem in an enumeration of contradictions, inner conflicts, nostalgia, and celebration of being Cuban American. Her poem combines the major themes of the chapbook and demonstrates Rodríguez Milanés’s voice as an authentic source of power. The accusatory tone of the poem asks for freedom: “liberate us from consumer-fascism / excess-access and Tommy Hilfiger / liberate us from unpopular public opinion” (25).

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