We are overjoyed to hear that our dear friend and esteemed Cuban scholar Emilio Jorge Rodríguez won the prestigious Casa de las Américas Prize. [Many thanks to Jeanne Mara (House of Nehesi Publishers) for bringing this item and photo to our attention. The photo shows Rodríguez with renowned Cuban poet Nancy Morejón at the announcement of the 58th edition of the Casa de las Americas Awards in Havana, January 26, 2017. ]
Emilio Jorge Rodríguez won in the category of Studies on the Black Presence in Contemporary America and the Caribbean for his book Una suave, tierna línea de montañas azules [A soft, tender line of blue mountains].
Cuban writer Reynaldo García Blanco won the award for Poetry for his book Esto es un disco de vinilo donde hay canciones rusas para escuchar en inglés y viceversa.
The results were announced yesterday in the presence of Abel Prieto, Minister of Culture, and Roberto Fernández Retamar, president of Casa de las Américas, among other well-known intellectuals, at the Ernesto Che Guevara room. García Blanco said, “For me it is a challenge to receive this award, which has honored fundamental poets in my [literary] formation.” He also dedicated the award to his colleagues in literary workshops.
Emilio Jorge Rodríguez dedicated the award to his friends, the Haitian writers. CiberCuba Noticias writes that his book, Una suave, tierna línea de montañas azules, “traces important chapters in the history of the exchanges between Cuba and Haiti through the study of the relationship between Nicolás Guillén and writers, artists and intellectuals in Haitian society. In addition to mapping the presence of Haiti in Cuban letters and that of Cuba in Haitian literature, the author documents Guillén’s visit there, with rigorous research, bibliographical richness and a meticulous use of archival resources never before considered. The book offers a direction for future ‘trans-Caribbean’ studies, emphasizing the need to deepen our understanding of the history of conflicts, collaboration, interdependence and intra-regional solidarity, an area that has hitherto privileged the Caribbean’s transnational relationship with Europe and the United States. Una suave, tierna línea de montañas azules inserts itself in the chronicle of that history in which Cubans and Haitians, besieged by common threats, recognized one another in the vision of a common destiny.”
Sources (in Spanish): https://www.cibercuba.com/noticias/2017-01-27-u73624-premios-casa-americas-este-ano, http://www.juventudrebelde.cu/cultura/2017-01-26/tres-cubanos-galardonados-con-el-casa-de-las-americas/, http://www.escambray.cu/2017/obras-cubanas-despuntan-como-ganadoras-de-premio-casa-de-las-americas/ and http://www.granma.cu/deportes/2017-01-26/garcia-blanco-y-jorge-rodriguez-con-el-casa-2017-26-01-2017-23-01-40