On Cuban-American Author, Jorge Reyes
Posted: 25 February 2005 04:00 AM   [ Ignore ]
less than 10 posts
Rank
Total Posts:  4
Joined  2005-02-25

by Ron Levitt

Most writers would be satisfied to be considered important in any single genre of literatureóbiography, fiction, non-fiction, comedy, childrenís books, poetryóbut Jorge Reyes , a 30-year-old Miami author, sincerely feels he wants to tackle them all. And, he is well on his way to proving that a controversial scribe with progressive leanings can do it, even if he sometimes seeks unconventional ways to deliver his message and display his talent with words.

And this month, Reyesóan intellectual with a lust for producing unusual literatureóshows a new side of his talent by publishing of all things a book of poetry, a self-examined look at a love affair gone sour and finding oneís self.  Not only is the story told in poetic form, but it is done in collaboration with Neith Nevelson, the granddaughter of the great sculptor Louise Nevelson. Neith, an extraordinary artist in her own right, supplies the dark canvases which illustrate Reyesí poetic venture, Dayís Night.
A book of poetryóparticularly one which so passionately describes his personal lifeóis not what one would ordinarily expect from a writer who made his mark just a few years ago when he returned to his birthplace in Santiago de Cuba and resonated that trip by turning it into a memoir about what he terms a country in “disharmony” with the world.
Rediscovering Cuba: A Personal Memoir told of Reyesí return to Cuba in 1999 to visit the town of his birth and see his maternal grandmother, who was dying of cancer. It was Reyesí first return to the island since emigrating as an 8-year-old child. The poignant retracing of his heritage was Reyesí attempt also to look at the differences of Cubans still living on the island and those Cuban-Americans he knew in South Florida.
Although the book itself is merely a look at oneís heritageómuch like numerous Irish, Jewish, Italian writers have done when they became hyphenated Americansósome considered the book controversial, even if they hadnít read it. Some didnít like the idea of an American traveling to Cuba at all, and when photographs of Reyesí trip were scheduled to be shown at a city hall, more controversy resumed.
You should be mindful that Reyesí book was and is non-political, but in the exile community of 1999 Miami, any excuse to rally against communist Cubaóreal or imaginedóis a goal. Rediscovering Cuba: A Personal Memoir catapulted him to what he has often called ‘infamyí within certain members of the Cuban exiled community. At a time when Cubans shunned upon anyone visiting the ‘enemyí back in their homeland, a reference to Fidel Castroís Cuba, Reyes broke with tradition and went even against the express wishes of some members of his family. After his return, his scribbles, notes and pages of diaries formed the basis for the book, which actually deals not so much with Cuba as it does about self-identity, memories, time and distance. 
His first book came several years ago, long before his return to Cuba tome. Guia Para Descubrir Tu Cuerpo, a kidsí book about the human anatomy written in English and translated into Spanish, has been made mandatory reading material in many Central and South American countries.
Then came Rediscovering Cuba, still on the bookshelves.
His next book, a book of poems called My Words Mean Something, demonstrated his ability to experiment in a different variety of writing style, not just prose. He admits his first attempt at poetry was difficult as he tried to find a comfortable style for his craft.
In a similar vein, his new book is another book of poems. But, he has learned the literary form well. In style and form, (some may say even in quality), Dayís Night is totally different from anything heís written before. Based on what he describes as a “bad personal relationship,” his ability of self-analysis shows his amazing talent. Not everyone, certainly not such a young man, could find the fervor to express such personal feelings. It will be published this month.
As he has said in some interviews, all his previous writings set the tone for this book, an opus that posed a new set of challenges to a writer who penned the original manuscript while still in college in his early twenties.

Is prolific the proper term to describe Reyes?  Friends of Reyes are not surprised at the output of this talented author.

Lorraine E. Kelly, to whom the book is dedicated and who now lives in the UK, says that Day’ Night wasn’t even on Jorge’ mind to write, much less publish: “It was such a personal thing for him. I don’t know how he had the courage to sit down and write. Somehow he did; it just happened, like a miracle unfolding. To this very day, I read the poems and I can only say, ‘Wow!í”
Reyes may think that way, but in reality, a literary profession is being carved for him in many ways, every time he scribbles in his handy notebook.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 February 2005 01:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
less than 10 posts
Rank
Total Posts:  4
Joined  2003-05-16

If Jorge Reyes is truly a prophet, he will recogniae the error of our present ways.  He will see the counter-productive effect of our embargo and “illegal” travel to Cuba for what it is; a dodge for the communists and a black eye for us.  We serve up Castro a judas “scape-goat” on a silver platter.  By this he dodges the responsibility for the sad plight of average Cubanos!

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 February 2005 03:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
less than 10 posts
Rank
Total Posts:  8
Joined  2005-01-14

How can a Cuban-American write a non-political book about returning to Cuba?. There are things that must be told and if you have a talent for writing then it is important to write about these things, whatever your views are. 

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 February 2005 03:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
less than 10 posts
Rank
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2004-07-28

>>It was Reyesí first return to the island since emigrating as an 8-year-old child. The poignant retracing of his heritage was Reyesí attempt also to look at the differences of Cubans still living on the island and those Cuban-Americans he knew in South Florida….some considered the book controversial, even if they hadnít read it. Some didnít like the idea of an American traveling to Cuba at all….You should be mindful that Reyesí book was and is non-political, but in the exile community of 1999 Miami, any excuse to rally against communist Cuba—real or imagined—is a goal. Rediscovering Cuba: A Personal Memoir catapulted him to what he has often called ‘infamyí within certain members of the Cuban exiled community. <<

Someone please help me to understand this.  How could anyone object to him returning to Cuba when he EXPRESSLY went to “see his maternal grandmother, who was dying of cancer?” 

Although I believe freedom to travel to Cuba anytime is a right USA citizens should possess, if some people believe it is morally objectionable to travel to Cuba for political reasons, then fine.  I’m more than willing to consider their arguments. 

But to take the extreme position that no exception to the travel ban should be allowed, not even to visit a dying relative in Cuba, is totally incomprehensible to me.  At that point, the travel ban ceases to a political conviction.  It becomes more like a fanaticís creed. 

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 March 2005 09:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
less than 10 posts
Rank
Total Posts:  4
Joined  2005-02-25

Jorge Reyes is not a prophet, nor a Castro-sympathetizer, nor a right-wing, Cuban-American ideologue.  Jorge Reyes is just himself, an independent thinker with an independent mind.  Unfortunately, for most, this is the problem: they can’t understand that someone can think, express himself, or criticize ideas or issues even if those same ideas or issues are part of a current popular vogue… 

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 July 2007 07:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Administrator
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  992
Joined  2005-11-19

I know this is an old post but do you have any more information to offer?

 Signature 

Cuba consulting services

Profile