Born to a working-class family, Nancy Morejón (Havana 1944) is the most celebrated and widely translated author of post-revolutionary Cuba. She is the leading writer of Havana's Black Renaissance, the first generation of Afro-Cuban artists who came of age with the 1959 Revolution. A prolific writer who has published over 35 collections of poetry and eight books of essays, she continues to work, based in her native Cuba. Member of Cuba's National Academy of Letters, Morejón has received multiple awards, among them Cuba's National Prize for Literature (2001), the Struga Poetry "Golden Wreath Award" (2006), and an Honoris Causa Doctorate degree at Cergy-Pontoise Paris University.
Morejón's work addresses contemporary issues of ethnicity, gender, history, politics, and Afro-Cuban identity. Her poems stand as vibrant reflections on the transculturation of Spanish and African cultures in Cuba, on what it means to be a child of both traditions, and on how the threads of this heritage are part of the greater web of the African Diaspora in the Americas. Morejón's poetry tries to "give life to a chorus of voices historically silenced who are reborn in the language" of her work far beyond their origin, their race, and their gender. While she celebrates Africanity, she refuses to inscribe her identity within the parameters of any single factor. "I am, at once, Nancy Morejón," she says, "an individual, a unity, who cannot be subdivided into parts - I am not more of a black person than a woman; I am not more of a woman than a Cuban; I am not more of a black person than a Cuban. I am a brief combustion of those factors."
Text by Dr. Juanamaria Cordones-Cook
The Nancy Morejón Special Collection of Afro-Romance Literature and Culture is available for research at the Museum Support Center. Contact Audrey Gayou (firstname.lastname@example.org, 573-882-9157), or Candace Sall (email@example.com, 573-882-3764). Click here for pdf list of collection titles.
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