18 September, 2021

Radio26.Cu – Matanzas, Cuba

The Radio Station of your Heart from Matanzas, Cuba

Guillén, Carilda and their indelible presence in the national culture.

I met Nicolás Guillén in the 1980s, when he participated in various literary events organized by the UNEAC branch in Matanzas. Above all he liked to accompany the poet Carilda Oliver Labra.

Their main setting was the Tirry 81 house and the Junco Palace Museum. Carilda herself considered him an honest and admired friend, a night owl in Matanzas  poetic gatherings and an expert in lyrical struggles, in addition to his gifts as a leader, of singular brilliance.

Awarded as National Poet, Nicolás Guillén Batista was born on July 10, 1902 in the city of Camagüey. He is considered one of the leading figures of Cuban and Spanish-speaking poetry throughout time. At present there are several of his poems that have been set to music by both prestigious national and foreign figures.

Journalist, relevant chronicler. His communist ideas brought him closer to the world left movements and kept him in exile during the last years of the Batista dictatorship and he returned to the island after the 1959 triumph and fully articulated with Fidel’s ideas.

He was the first president of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, awarded the José Martí Order in 1981. He managed to bring together countless personalities and intellectuals from the world around Cuba.

The writer and ethnologist Miguel Barnet has expressed: “Guillén, was a man of very advanced ideas, of the left, and he laid the platform of principles that govern UNEAC.”

119 years after his birth, Nicolás Guillén is there, present as ever, with his most Cuban poetry.