a. owen aldridge prize winner 20082009 havana reads the harlem renaissance: langston hughes, nicolás guillén, and the dialectics of transnational american literature John Patrick Leary On April 20, 1930, the Cuban journalist Gustavo Urrutia wrote to Langston Hughes in New York to announce the publication of a new set of poems, Motivos de son [Son Motifs], by a young Cuban poet named Nicolás Guillén, whom Hughes had met on his recent trip to Havana. Guillén's poems had just been published in "Ideales de una raza" ["Ideals of a Race"], the weekly black-interest section edited by Urrutia. It ran in the Sunday edition of the conservative Havana daily Diario de la Marina from 1928 until it was withdrawn under political pressure from the national government. As the editor of "Ideales de una raza," Urrutia played a major role in Cuba's afrocubanista (Afro-Cuban) movement. In his letter to the young American poet, Urrutia solicited the American's support and predicted happily that Guillén's Motivos de son would scandalize the local black bourgeoisie with its frank use of the vulgar slang and popular music of urban Cubans of color. Hughes, who had recently returned from a March visit to Cuba covered carefully
Comparative Literature Studies – Penn State University Press
Published: Sep 29, 2010
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