Record attendance at the Orlando García Lorenzo Critics’ Conference.
The Jornada de la Crítica Artística Literaria Orlando García Lorenzo culminated with a record number of competitors in the events and two important panels of experts.
The jury, made up of writers Leymen Pérez, Norge Céspedes and Mireya Cabrera, evaluated 11 works in the Review genre, mostly dedicated to published books, and in the mini-stories, under the title «La cola de la serpiente», 21 pieces, which was considered the participation record for 2023.
The Prize in Review went to «A tale of blacks and whites. La escritura de lo cubano» by the critic and editor Derbys Dominguez, and the following texts were also selected as finalists: «El día en que Nelson Simón explicó por qué el mundo es un pañuelo», by Maylan Álvarez; «La poesía desde el otro lado del espejo», by Nathaly Hernández; and «Damarys Calderón, y qué?», by Amalia Cordero.
In the mini-story category, «El escuchador», by Ulises Rodríguez Febles, won the prize. The finalists were: «Actuación de lujo», by Carlos Ettiel Gómez; «Perlas a las puercas», by Dianelys Pujols; «Umbral», by Miriam Rodríguez; and «El niño del alma», by Nathaly Hernández.
As for the opinion roundtables, the one on the theme: «City in Letters, Matanzas as a motif, was outstanding. «Urbano Martínez Carmenate, winner of the National History Prize, spoke about the writers who were inspired by the city of Matanzas during the first half of the 19th century, while Alfredo Zaldívar, winner of the National Publishing Prize, discussed the imprint of the playwrights who have referred to the city, and Ulises Rodríguez Febles, the novelists. Leymen Pérez acted as moderator.
It is worth noting that the latter two intellectuals pointed out the need to deepen studies on this subject, as there is a little researched wealth of writers and works, in the 20th and 21st centuries, that take Matanzas as the setting for their creations.
In the panel «El libro digital, ¿the Winter is coming? Its challenges and possibilities in Cuba», dedicated to the 45th anniversary of Ediciones Matanzas and the 25th anniversary of Aldabón, under the direction of Norge Céspedes, the young writers Nathaly Hernández, Raúl Piad and Pablo G. Lleonard demonstrated the reality of the printed book and the digital future, when structural conditions remain for such an endeavour and the requirement then is to maintain contact with the public.
Present at the intense programme were Efrahím Pérez Izquierdo, director of the Provincial Centre for Books and Literature, and José Manuel Espino, president of UNEAC Matanzas.
The Jornada de la Crítica Artística Literaria Orlando García Lorenzo was a full house, demonstrating the interest of the people of Matanzas in these events which allow for the exchange of ideas and the improvement of literary styles.
Notes on the 25th anniversary of Orlando García Lorenzo’s death
We remember the essayist Orlando García Lorenzo from his first steps in literature, with that powerful unitarian exaltation which characterised him and which he managed to extend to the creators, first as director of the library system of the province and, above all, in his later responsibility as president of the UNEAC branch in Matanzas.
He possessed the virtue of communication and a deep understanding of the aspirations and concerns of intellectuals, with the aim of keeping the literary and artistic movement active in the Casona de la Calle Milanés, during complex historical moments.
At a very young age, Orlandito joined the first contingent of the Destacamento Pedagógico Manuel Ascunce Domenech and later worked as an internationalist teacher in Nicaragua. He was awarded the Por la Cultura Cubana distinction, the Internationalist Worker medal and the National Vanguard medal. He was conferred the status of Distinguished Son of Matanzas.
In accordance with his merits, he was elected deputy to the National Assembly and president of the organising commission of the 6th Congress of the UNEAC. He was a member of the Provincial Party Committee.
He died on 16 May 1998, when he was about to attend a programme of conferences in Mexico. She was 41 years old. In his honour, the annual Orlando Garcia Lorenzo Day of Literary Artistic Criticism was established, in which the best books of the year are recognised.
Written by María Elena Bayón.