June 12, 2009

What does it mean to be Caribbean American?: Adrian Castro

What does it mean to be Caribbean American?

Do you consider yourself to be a Caribbean-American?

Yes. My folks are Cuban and Dominican, so I can’t really say I’m Cuban or Dominican. Add to the fact I was born in the Republic of Miami, a fine Caribbean city.

How does this affect your work?

It completely informs my work. It’s history, culture, religion, and roots.

When did you first realize that you were a Caribbean-American?

When I realized the Pan-ism of the Caribbean. By traveling thru the Caribbean and seeing the similarities in culture, geography, etc...

Is it important to celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month?

Well, for one who is Caribbean, I think everyday/every month is Caribbean Heritage Day/Month. How do you escape where you’re from and who you are? Keep in mind the river the forgets it source will soon dry up.


Adrian CastroOne of the most vibrant Caribbean/South Florida poets, Adrian Castro's work scintillates with tonality, bilingualism, clarity of image and spirit. On the publication of his first collection, Cantos to Blood & Honey, Victor Hernandez Cruz wrote, “Reading [Castro]...is like ritual itself, like ceremony. Castro's criollo bipolarity and polyrhythmic versing approximate chant.

The poems are clear maps of migrations, from the indigenous Orinoco and island hopping, to the Spanish sailors who v
anished into Siboney maracas. The sounds of the Yorubas upon wooden vessels crossing the Atlantic, singing the first salsa into the stars. History is organized burglary.

Adrian Castro has realized his geophysical position in the spider web of Caribbean history as an individual and as a larger portion of blue space
.” Adrian’s work has been widely anthologized in publications such as Paper Dance: 55 Latino Poets, One Century of Cuban Writers in Florida, and Little Havana Blues. His most recent collection, Wise Fish, was published by Coffee House Press. He lives in Miami, Florida.


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