Renowned poet and essayist Roberto Fernandez Retamar passes away in Havana

Renowned Cuban poet, essayist and literary critic Roberto Fernandez Retamar passed away in Havana Saturday. He was 89.

Abel Prieto, president of the Jose Marti Cultural Society, confirmed the death of the president of Casas de las Americas on Twitter.

“We have lost one of the greatest poets and thinkers of America and the world.  He leaves us an exceptional work, focused on decolonization and anti-imperialism,” Prieto tweeted.

Fernandez Retamar was a central figure in Cuba literary scene since the 1960s, he wrote over a dozen major collections of verse and founded the Casa de las Americas cultural magazine.  He had also served as president of that institution since 1986.

Fernandez authored Calibán, considered one of the most important essays written in Spanish language in the 20th century.

In 1989, he was awarded the National Prize for Literature.

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Cuba Announced 4th Latin American Monologue Festival 2019

The 4th Latin American Monologue Festival will be held February 12-16, 2019 in the Cuban province of Cienfuegos (center-south), organizers announced.

Twenty plays by theater groups from Uruguay, Argentina, Costa Rica, Brazil, Colombia and Cuba will be performed in the emblematic Tomas Terry theater in that Cuban city.

The festival is sponsored by Casa de las Americas and the national and provincial councils of the Performing Arts and includes in its program the award ceremony for Best Staging, Best Actress, Best Actor and Research.

There will also be workshops and lectures on various issues.

Some of the monologues confirmed include Memories of Pichonne (Costa Rica), Olympia (Brazil), and The Tiger's March (Mexico), among others, according to the newspaper Granma.

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Casa de las Americas in 2018

Cuban cultural life will be marked in January by the Literary Prize of this prestigious Cuban cultural institution.

This is how it will begin, as every year, its program in 2018 that will also include, among other proposals, the Musicology Prize, another edition of its Colloquy on Women, as well as the intense days of the Latin American and the Caribbean Theater Season Mayo Teatral, among other events. There will also be workshops, homage, besides exhibits, book premieres, and concerts in favor of common creation of our America.

On January 15th will be formed the jury for the Literary Prize Casa de las Americas that this year arrives to its 59th edition. This award is one of the oldest in the continent. Winning works will be made public on Thursday 25th.

As it’s tradition, during the sessions it will be developed alongside the main event presentations of books, round-tables, panels, and debates about topics related with the genres and categories in competition. The jurors coming from different Latin American countries will participate. The encounters will have venue in Cienfuegos where the jury will work and then here in Havana, on January 22-25.

This time the competition will include the following genres and categories: story, theater, and essay of artistic-literary topic; as well as work in Brazilian literature, with non-fiction books written in Portuguese, and texts published in Caribbean literature in either English or Creole. It has also been convoked the Prize of Studies on Women.

The history of this contest go as far back as the early foundational days of that institution, when, in July 1959, Casa de las Americas, newly created organized the first edition of the contest which after 59 years still has great prestige within the literature of our continent.

While on February 19-23, Casa will host a new edition of the International Colloquy of its Program on Women’s Studies. Those encounters are developed yearly since 1994. This time the main topic will be: “Women and Families in the History and Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean”. Further details at the e-mail:

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The fourteenth edition of the Musicology Prize of Casa de Las Americas is scheduled for March 12-16. This year texts will compete on musical historiography; interpretation and critical explanation of the musical creation; traditional and folkloric music; theory and practice on music teaching; global theoretical frameworks of musicology; and other problems related to aesthetics, sociology and the anthropology of music among others. The dateline for the admission of works is February 1st. During those days it will also take place the Tenth International Colloquy of Musicology.

And of this spring, casa de las Americas will organize the tenth edition of Season of Latin American and the Caribbean Theater Mayo Teatral. On May 11-20 will arrive to this capital, representative theater groups in the region with a great variety that will include dramatic theater, testimony theater, scene of the street, theater of objects, rereading of classics and the presence of outstanding music.

This time the theme axis is the bonds between processes and results, the presentations will be accompanied by thorough explanations of the theater plays. There will also be workshops, conferences, exhibitions, book and magazine premieres, among other proposals.

Likewise the program of Casa de las Americas for 2018, announces the third International Colloquy of Studies on America’s Original Cultures, on October 9-12 dedicated to indigenous languages of America, expression, translation and recovery; and in November will arrive the Author's Week, as customary by yearend every year.

With its varied cultural program, Casa de las Americas, a beautiful project for unity, defense and promotion of the Latin American culture, will continue in 2018 its rich history in favor of the tree of common creation of our America.

Amilkal Labañino Valdés / Cubasi Translation Staff

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Casa de las Américas Hosts Virgin Islands Artists and Academics

Havana, May 22 (RHC)-- Casa de las Americas, Cuba’s best-known and most prestigious cultural institution, is featuring the work and words of a delegation of Virgin Islands artists and scholars from May 22nd until Friday, the 26th.

A full day of events, screenings and exhibitions during the institution’s sixth edition of its International Colloquium on Cultural Diversity in the Caribbean is devoted to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

This year’s colloquium, entitled “Memory and Border Conflicts,” is particularly concerned with the centennials of two events in the Caribbean region: the transfer of the Danish West Indies to the United States, and the passage of the Jones Act which gave Puerto Ricans United States citizenship.  Both events occurred in 1917.

“Both events are of crucial importance not only in the geopolitical map of their time, but to the cultural and social reconfiguration of territories and communities,” said Camila Valdés León, director of the Center for Caribbean Studies at Casa de las Americas. “Thinking about these historical moments today involves understanding them in their multiple dimensions, including the present."

A third historical event to be discussed during the five day colloquium is the eightieth anniversary of the 1937 massacre at the Haitian-Dominican border.  According to Valdés León: “It will prompt us to think about the impact of this event on the collective memory of the region.”

The U.S. Virgin Islands has been represented at the past two international colloquiums at Casa de las Americas in 2013 and 2015, but this is the first time that a complete section of the program is dedicated to the territory.

“We are very excited about the program and look forward to welcoming the delegation from the Virgin Islands of the United States on the centennial of such an important event, for them and for the whole Caribbean,” said Valdés León.

As in previous years, the colloquium is expected to attract an international crowd of Caribbean Studies specialists, artists, musicians, performers, students, and people interested in the subjects to be addressed.  All events are free and open to the public, including musical concerts, art exhibits and performances.

On Monday, an exhibition of work by seven practicing contemporary artists on St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix  opened at Casa de Las Americas, located in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana.

The exhibition is entitled “My Islands Do Not Make a Nation” after a line from a poem by St. Thomian writer Tiphanie Yanique.  It features works by La Vaughn Belle, David Berg, Shansi Miller, Sigi Torinus, Cooper Penn, Janet Cook-Rutnik, and Jon Euwema.  The exhibition is curated by St. John-based curatorial team The Gri Gri Project, consisting of Priscilla Hintz Rivera Knight and David Knight Jr.

According to the curators, the exhibition hopes to capture “how some contemporary artists in the territory react to the ambivalent cosmopolitanism of life in one of the world’s last non-self-governing territories, an unincorporated territory of the United States.”

The show also features an epilogue of carnival photos taken by Cuban-born V.I. artist, publisher and author Mario Picayo.

On Monday, former V.I. Government Representative for External Affairs Dr. Carlyle Corbin inaugurated the conference portion of the event along with Sergio Valdés Bernal of the University of Havana.

The day featured a panel entitled “Roots/Crossroutes: Migration and Memory in the Virgin Islands Diaspora” featuring University of the Virgin Islands professors Vincent Cooper, Alscess Lewis Brown and Chenzira Davis-Kahina.

A second panel on the last 100 years in the Virgin Islands featured Amrey Mathunin from the University of Pennsylvania, and Hadiya Sewer, a PhD candidate at Brown University.

A third panel on arts and cultural education included Picayo, Hintz Rivera Knight, Knight Jr. and participating artists in “My Islands Do Not Make a Nation.”

The day also featured a Mocko Jumbie performance by Penn and two movie screenings:  “We the People, a Transfer Day Perspective” directed by Erik Miles, and “Jamesie, King of Scratch,” directed by Andrea Leland.

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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Brazilian Literature with Record in Casa de las Americas Award 2017

Havana, Jan 10 (Prensa Latina) The Casa de las Americas Literature Award received a record number of works this year in the section of Brazilian fiction literature, with 135 works, and even today new proposals are coming to Cuba.

Jorge Fornet, coordinator of the contest, said that the number of texts received so far is of 390 books, which may continue to increase, because there are still receiving more projects.

The categories in contest are Novel, Poetry, Historical-Social Essay, Testimonial Literature, Brazilian Literature of Fiction, and the Prize for Studies about the Black Presence in Contemporary Latin America and the Caribbean.

The activities of this event will start next Monday with the constitution of the jury in the Sala Che Guevara, Casa de las Américas, and then the judges will travel to the southern city of Cienfuegos, where most of the readings will be held, said Fornet.

During the deliberations' days, Casa de las Americas will maintain a program of lectures, panels and presentations of books and magazines.

The Award ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, January 26 in the Sala Che Guevara, witness of that event during the 58 editions of the contest. Among other activities we will have the exhibition In the space: from the sculptural to the installation, and will perform actions dedicated to the 50 years of the publication of One Hundred Years of Solitude, iconic novel by the Colombian Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014), to which Casa de las Americas will dedicate different activities during 2017.

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Paco Taibo to star Casa de las Americas’ Author Week

After participating as jury of the 2009 Casa de las Américas Literary Award, Mexican writer Paco Ignacio Taibo II will visit again this institution from November 15 to 18 because Casa de las Americas will dedicate to him the Author Week that is celebrated each year in Havana.

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