Strong is the cultural tradition of Matanzas, full of reliable examples, legendary and native to a recognized land, more than 100 years ago, as the Athens of Cuba for its long history carrying accurate samples of the most deeply rooted traditions and customs.
This city of poets has an extensive collection, nurtured for centuries, in each of the artistic manifestations. Defenders of the rich literary history generated in the geographic space of Matanzas, our editorials transcend the borders of the provincial to offer an approach to the most select of national and foreign letters.
They are also characterized by the quality of their productions, from the point of view of visualizing and content, and by making the novelty the shield of each of their projects.
More than three decades attended the poet and artist of the plastic Rolando Estévez to assume the ambitious effort to create the first private publishing house in Cuba. During the years in which he worked in Vigía, the artist printed part of his soul to each book. With this same dedication, he directed his plans to create a new project that, despite maintaining the style of creating books-art, resorts to conceptions different from those that are conceived in his old house.
Resources do not lack for it, talent and creativity either. Five years ago El Fortín became a reality that has few doers, but is supported by professionals of great power in literary crafts.
«At this moment I prepare two new books in El Fortín, one of them is by the poet (Luis Manuel Pérez) Boitel, recently awarded in our institution and from which we will soon present his plaquette», announced the director of the publishing house, Rolando Estévez.
About the projects in which he is involved commented the poet and National Graphic Design Prize that «I am preparing myself for several things, among them the Biennial of Havana that in its coming edition, during the month of April, will have Matanzas as a sub thanks to the coordinators of Magdalena Campos.
«I will present a project that I hope people living in Matanzas like it a lot because it has a lot to do with religion manifested in this city. I also prepare a series of performances that I share at the headquarters of the Literary Promotion Center José Jacinto Milanés, under the title of Poesía más.
«A new book of poetry of my authorship is also about to come out. I’m in several projects, but happy that life gives me the possibility to do and grow in my city.
» The passion for great works of Cuban and universal literature is fused in El Fortín, the sensitivity overflowed by choosing designs, textures, materials and colors and a kind of mixture between intellectual pleasure, spiritual enjoyment and passion for the beautiful, the elegant and transcendent.
The creation of art books, in the case of Estévez, responds to a need to let readers know works that mark times, while inviting them to delight, to enjoyment, to the wonder of the letters that are born after the light of a lantern.
«A short time ago they gave me a studio, which is located in Madio Street number 94. It is a large and beautiful space, a colonial house in the city that was beautiful. It was very deteriorated, but about five months ago we worked on site to rescue that place and turn it into a worthy site for El Fortín.
» In its short but dynamic time of life the publishing house has achieved interesting results with the publication of works of the most emblematic voices of Cuban poetry of all times, among them Antón Arrufat, Digdora Alonso, Nancy Morejón, Dulce María Loynaz, Agustín Acosta and an excellent reception both in Cuba and in other countries of the region.
Poems, songs, texts in verses or prose appear under the seal of El Fortín, always accompanied by the encouraging rhyme of great dreams. His small, but tenacious team is completely delivered so that each proposal becomes a true work of art, at the height of Matanzas culture.
Like its Matanzas´s counterparts, Matanzas Editions and the emblematic Vigía, this house contributes to the cultural enrichment of the well-known Athens of Cuba.