Here are the sights, sounds, and rhythms of Cuba, revealed in the evocative works of some of the finest Cuban and Cuban American poets of the twentieth century. In Burnt Sugar, bestselling translator Lori Marie Carlson and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Oscar Hijuelos have created an intimate collection of some of their favorite modern poems, all of which are informed by cubanía -- the essence of what it means to be Cuban. "Cuban" in this sense refers neither to ideology nor to geography but rather to the distinguishing characteristics of Cuban poetry as it has developed over time: clever verbal play, overt rhythmic notes, and an intensity of longing, whether religious, political, or amorous.
Many of these poems have never been translated into English before, and taken together they, as the editors say, "produce a vibrant, satisfying sound and vivid imagery. They allow for some understanding of modern-day preoccupations, contradictions, feelings, and attitudes considered to be Cuban." Stirring, immediate, and universal in its sensibility, Burnt Sugar is a luminous collection lovingly compiled by two of the world's foremost authorities on the subject.