The literature of the ancestors in the memory of the people from Matanzas.
Remembering personalities of Cuba’s Athens is a new event for readings of works written by renowned intellectuals from Matanzas, under the sponsorship of the Provincial Centre for Books and Literature and organised by the writer Isolina Bellas Galbán.
Isolina, a member of UNEAC for more than 30 years, is one of the most recognised voices in the city of rivers and bridges, who in a recent interview for this media outlet commented on her literary career:
«My first book was in 1986, entitled Las voces de lo que amo, by Ediciones Matanzas. There are poems that I remember fondly: some quatrains inspired by José Martí; the ones called Cuando digo amor se hace la aurora and Hojas, about autumn, and others with a romantic theme. I included some décimas that interested me, like many poets from Matanzas, because this genre excels in this province.
«Later I wrote some booklets for children, but the most endearing for me is Cercana lumbre (Near fire). It is a work I dedicated to my father, using the photographs he took of this city he loved so much.
«He was Spanish, but he loved this land as his second homeland and said he would never leave, and that’s how it was; it’s his essence, a kind of visual poetry. I wanted to do something together with my father and the editor and poet Alfredo Zaldívar understood this and put together a booklet with the inspiration of Isolino and Isolina.
«There are images of bridges, parks, buildings, landscapes, family, and in a sort of counterpoint I express the pain that subjectively caused me the loss of my parents; there are strong, bitter poems, reflections of the loneliness that haunts me….
«Published books? Most of them are for children by the publishers Gente Nueva, Matanzas and Vigía; I have anthologised poems in the country and abroad; a lot of unpublished poetry».
The influence of space and time can be seen in your work. About this feeling she tells me:
«Sometimes I feel that the past surrounds me and I dodge it, but it is difficult, especially when situations are not happy, we go to the past and I invoke the grounding of those moments of familiar love.
«The passage of time dominates me and overwhelms my body, as if it were untying the soul from the mirror, because there are invisible traces in trails of smoke. It also appears in my latest poems, in which I deal with the present and write long texts, which I am unable to memorise afterwards,»she says to me with a smile.
Remembering personalities from Cuba’s Athens, this month will be dedicated to two key figures: Carilda Oliver Labra, winner of the National Literature Prize, and the eminent poet and educator Digdora Alonso.
Written by María Elena Bayón.