Forthcoming: René Marqués’s “Palm Sunday” (a play based on the Ponce Massacre)

[Thanks to David Auerbach for bringing this item to our attention.] This is exciting news: “Palm Sunday,” a previously unpublished play by the late Puerto Rican writer René Marqués (1919-1979), based on the 1937 Ponce Massacre, will soon be published. ¡Ey!Boricua reports:

“Palm Sunday”, an unpublished theatrical work by famous Puerto Rican writer René Marqués (1919-1979) based on the Ponce Massacre—an event that occurred on March 21, 1937, in which 19 people died on Palm Sunday—will be published soon.

Maribel Acosta, professor of the Department of Hispanic Studies of the Mayagüez Campus (RUM) at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), wrote the prologue of the piece, as reported on Friday in a press release. According to Acosta, in 2011, a group of professors from the Department of Humanities and Hispanic Studies at the RUM visited the house of José M. Lacomba, where the Marqués library is located with all his books, drafts, annotations, as well as copies of letters and other documents.

Last semester, however, the RUM Faculty of Arts and Sciences provided these professors with “a three-credit research course-release to continue working on this project.” Once the researchers had access to the writer’s documentation, and as a result of the celebration of the centenary of his birth at the RUM in 2019, they stated the process to publish both “Palm Sunday” and two additional dramatic works: “Los condenados” and “Pueblo agónico.”

About “Palm Sunday,” Acosta stressed that “it is written, for the most part, in English,” since Marqués wrote it as part of a course he took at Columbia University, in New York, when he won the Rockefeller Foundation scholarship to study drama for a year. “The original document was one act; then he revised it and turned it into a short two-act play. René never wanted it to be translated into Spanish, because he considered that its essence would be lost,” said Acosta.

Now, Acosta is working on the edition of Memorias mínimas, Marqués’s unpublished autobiography, which covers his life from the early years to his early youth. Marqués, Acosta said, left instructions on how it should be published. She is also in the process of editing another publication of aphorisms by the renowned writer.

Marqués is the author of the “La carreta,” “La muerte no entrará en palacio,” and “Los soles truncos”; the novels La víspera del hombre and La mirada; and the anthology Cuentos puertorriqueños de hoy, among other publications that are part of the curriculum of the public education system.

Article translated by Ivette Romero. See the original article (in Spanish) at

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