City of a Hundred Fires

( 2 )

Overview

Winner of the 1997 Agnes Lynch Starrett PrizeCity of a Hundred Fires presents us with a journey through the cultural coming of age experiences of the hyphenated Cuban-American. This distinct group, known as the Ñ Generation as coined by Bill Teck, are the bilingual children of Cuban exiles nourished by two cultural currents--the fragmented traditions and transferred nostalgia of their parents' Caribbean homeland and the very real and present America where they grew up and live. In a keenly impressive debut, ...
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City of a Hundred Fires

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Overview

Winner of the 1997 Agnes Lynch Starrett PrizeCity of a Hundred Fires presents us with a journey through the cultural coming of age experiences of the hyphenated Cuban-American. This distinct group, known as the Ñ Generation as coined by Bill Teck, are the bilingual children of Cuban exiles nourished by two cultural currents--the fragmented traditions and transferred nostalgia of their parents' Caribbean homeland and the very real and present America where they grew up and live. In a keenly impressive debut, Blanco, a Cuban raised in the United States, records his threefold burdens: learning and adapting to American culture, translating for family and friends, and maintaining his own roots. . . . Blanco is already a mature, seasoned writer, and his powers of description and determination to get every nuance correct are evident from the first poem. . . . Absolutely essential for all libraries."--Library JournalBlanco is a fine young poet, and this poetry, the bread and wine of our language of exile, is pure delight, written with Lorca's El Duende's eyes and heart. May he continue to produce such a heavenly mix of rhythm and image--these poems are more than gems, they are the truth not only about the Cuban-American experience, but of our collective experience in the United States, a beautiful land of gypsies." --Virgil SuarezRichard Blanco's City of a Hundred Fires lights up the American literary scene with a fresh new vigor and voice that takes its place in the front rank of poetry. This wonderful book will also draw readers from beyond the world of poetry, entrancing a wide audience with the music of its language, its beautiful evocation of love and loss and hope."--Dan WakefieldCity of a Hundred Fires is one of the most exciting first books of the decade--vibrant and diverse, infused with energy and formal dexterity, equally at ease in Spanish and English. As if that weren't enough, it feels like an important cultural document as well--a bicultural document, testimony to the dualities of identity central not only to Cuban but to all hyphenated Americans"--exile and citizen, emigrant and immigrant, elegist and celebrant. Richard Blanco is a poet of remarkable talents--in any language."--Campbell McGrathIn this remarkable first book Richard Blanco speaks in a wise, compassionate voice that finds beauty in loss and takes bright lessons from despair. These are poems that hurt and heal." --Gustavo Pèrez FirmatWhat a delicia these poems are, sad, tender, and filled with longing. Like an old photograph, a saint's statue worn away by the devout, a bolero on the radio on a night full of rain. Me emocionan. There is no other way to say it. They emotion me."--Sandra CisnerosThe poet's nostalgia for Cuba, a life seen through the lens of his parents' exile, here meets head on his own coming of age in a culturally and racially diverse Miami. Full of vivid and specific detail, dotted with Spanish phrases, these poems arrest the reader much as the Ancient Mariner did, transfixing the listener."--Maxine Kumin
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“In a keenly impressive debut, Blanco, a Cuban raised in the United States, records his threefold burdens: learning and adapting to American culture, translating for family and friends, and maintaining his own roots. . . . Blanco is already a mature, seasoned writer, and his powers of description and determination to get every nuance correct are evident from the first poem. . . . Absolutely essential for all libraries.”

—Library Journal

“Blanco is a fine young poet, and this poetry, the bread and wine of our language of exile, is pure delight, written with Lorca’s El Duende’s eyes and heart. May he continue to produce such a heavenly mix of rhythm and image—these poems are more than gems, they are the truth not only about the Cuban-American experience, but of our collective experience in the United States, a beautiful land of gypsies.”
--Virgil Suarez

“Richard Blanco’s City of a Hundred Fires lights up the American literary scene with a fresh new vigor and voice that takes its place in the front rank of poetry. This wonderful book will also draw readers from beyond the world of poetry, entrancing a wide audience with the music of its language, its beautiful evocation of love and loss and hope.”

—Dan Wakefield

City of a Hundred Fires is one of the most exciting first books of the decade—vibrant and diverse, infused with energy and formal dexterity, equally at ease in Spanish and English. As if that weren’t enough, it feels like an important cultural document as well—a bicultural document, testimony to the dualities of identity central not only to Cuban but to all “hyphenated Americans”—exile and citizen, emigrant and immigrant, elegist and celebrant. Richard Blanco is a poet of remarkable talents—in any language.”

—Campbell McGrath

“The poet’s nostalgia for Cuba, a life seen through the lens of his parents’ exile, here meets head on his own coming of age in a culturally and racially  diverse Miami. Full of vivid and specific detail, dotted with Spanish phrases, these poems arrest the reader much as the Ancient Mariner did, transfixing the listener.”

—Maxine Kumin

“As one of the  newer voices in Cuban-American poetry, Blanco writes about the reality of an uprooted culture and how the poet binds the farthest regions of the world together through language. This book describes the price of exile and extends beyond the shores of America and the imagined shores of home.”

—The Bloombury Review

Library Journal
It's easy to see why this debut won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. Born in Madrid of Cuban parents and raised in the United States, Blanco captures the tensions of moving between cultures in rhythmic, evocative poems. Observed LJ's reviewer, "Blanco is already a mature, seasoned writer, and his powers of description and determination to get every nuance correct are evident from the first poem" LJ 9/1/98.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822956839
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1998
  • Series: Pitt Poetry Series
  • Pages: 74
  • Sales rank: 320,401
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Politics of the Popular in Latin American Popular Culture 1
I Nation as Icon
1 Gender, Ethnicity and Piety: The Case of the China Poblana 19
II Medianation
2 Caipira Culture: The Politics of Nation in Mazzaropi's Films 41
3 Big Snakes on the Streets and Never Ending Stories: The Case of Venezuelan Telenovelas 64
4 From Mafalda to Boogie: The City in Argentine Humor 81
III Nation as Idea
5 Framing the Peruvian Cholo: Popular Art by Unpopular People 109
6 You're All Guilty: Lo Cubano in the Confession 129
7 The Cueca of the Last Judgment: Politics of Chilean Resistance in Tres Marias y Una Rosa 142
8 Tango, Buenos Aires, Borges: Cultural Production and Urban Sexual Regulation 167
IV Beyond Nation
9 Myth, Modernity, and Postmodern Tragedy in Walter Lima's The Dolphin 195
10 "Useless Spaces" of the Feminine in Popular Culture: Like Water for Chocolate and The Silent War 210
11 Masculinities at the Margins: Representations of the Malandro and the Pachuco 227
Notes 265
Bibliography 289
Contributors 305
Index 309
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2004

    Lyrical Ooh!

    These poems remind me of the roots I have left behind, while simultaneously, enabling me to understand the implications of transplantation. At once inspirational and utterly raw, Blanco uses the collective memories of all exiles to reach our hearts, where the true 'home' lies.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 27, 2013

    Highly Recommend

    Richard Blanco, poet extraordinaire and Civil Engineer all in one. He dedicates this book to memories of his father.
    Based on his Cuban-American upbringing, he writes of his memories and experiences. He is able to laugh at what's funny about America from his perspective but through it all you feel a man that loves America. My favorite poems in this book were Crayons for Elena and Found Letters of 1965 but you will enjoy many others as well.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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