New Book: “Africa in My Skin”

House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP) just announced the publication of the new trilingual edition of poetry by Rafael Nino Féliz (Dominican Republic) África en mi piel / Africa in My Skin / L’Afrique dans la peau (2021).

“The title of the book, its cover design images, coupled with the nature of the poems as a travelogue, may border on the provocative in the poet’s homeland,” said Lasana M. Sekou, HNP’s projects director. Féliz is a Dominican Republic poet who has served as Vice-Chancellor of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD).

The poems, in the original Spanish, with the English and French translations in one book, are strung together like invitations to the Dominican Republic and the other Caribbean nations that Féliz takes us through in this trilingual edition.

“The lyrical journey of the poet, through an expressive simplicity, is never devoid of some social or political content, revindicating a tradition that has been part of the central elements of poetry since antiquity,” said Mateo Morrison, a leading Dominican Republic intellectual and author.

“The book rediscovers the heartbeat of History’s march to give rise to some sort of cosmo-poetics of the germination of African diasporic memory in a Caribbean time-space,” said Ashanti Dinah Orozco-Herrera, a Colombian author and university lecturer.

Lovers of literature can expect to find in África en mi piel / Africa in My Skin / L’Afrique dans la peau, “Grasping imagery underlying the complexities of modern society,” said Danielle Chance, president of St. Martin’s United Women Book Club.

Dominican sociologist Dagoberto Tejeda Ortíz observed that in the book the Caribbean is a diasporic “continent.” For the poet, he added, “Africa is not only ancestors, roots, nostalgia, rum and mulattoes.  “For Nino, it is the essence of his life, his reason to dream, smile and get angry. For him Africa is grief and a sore, but at the same time, pride. It is his existential reference point …”

It might be partly for this reason that the Cuban journalist Pedro Pérez-Sarduy said that the collection is, “An unforgettable book by this Caribbean poet from the Dominican Republic.”

África en mi piel / Africa in My Skin / L’Afrique dans la peau is available at bookstores and at Amazon, SPDbooks.org (https://bit.ly/3yHWTCv) and Libros Latinos.

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