These are just some of the poets whose work I l have loved. The ones that came to mind on this particular day. I will fill in notes and quotes, details and links as I have time.
Juan Antonio Corretjer
Leah Horlick's book For Your Own Good was given to me recently by a friend, and I found it astonishing, clear, courageous, as accurate as a razor blade.
María Luisa Arroyo
Minnie Bruce Pratt
Naomi Shihab Nye
Nicolás Guillén was the national poet of Cuba. I discovered his work one afternoon in 1967 while desperately digging for signs of my Caribbean existence in the library at the University of Chicago Laboratory High School. It was one poem in a thick anthology, but it was in the rhythms and daily language of the people I grew up among, and I memorized it on the spot. Guillén defied the poetic establishment of his day, rooted in Spanish elite tradition, and filled his pages with poetry based on Afro-Cuban dance that shouted the joys and suffering of the Cuban people through decades of political repression in the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s. Many, many of his poems have been set to music and form part of the body of Cuban Nueva Trova and the Latin American Nueva Canción movement. Guillén is still one of my medicines.