Reina María Rodríguez — Black teardrops — translated by Kristin Dykstra


Reina María Rodríguez is the author of more than thirty books, with a new collection, Chapapote, forthcoming. Her most recent books include Dársenas (Ediciones Furtivas, 2022), Cortar las muñecas (Ebook from Institute for Creative Exchange Americas, 2022), Achicar (U. Autónoma de Querétero, 2021), Luciérnagas (U. Autónoma de Querétero, 2017), El piano (Bokeh, 2016), and The Winter Garden Photograph / La foto del invernadero (bilingual; Ugly Duckling Presse, 2019). Among other awards too numerous to list in full, Rodríguez holds two Casas de las Américas Awards for Poetry (1984, 1998), the Alejo Carpentier Medal for Cuban literature (2002), Cuba’s 2013 National Prize for Literature, and the 2014 Pablo Neruda Ibero-American Award for Poetry. In 2022, Rodríguez received the “La Avellaneda” Medal, and she was named a Finalist for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. France named her Chevalier in its Order of Arts and Letters in 1999. The Princeton University Library holds her papers.

Kristin Dykstra is a writer, literary translator, and scholar. In 2023 Veliz Books published her translation of Amanda Berenguer’s collection, The Lady of Elche.  Dykstra is principal translator of The Winter Garden Photograph (Ugly Duckling Presse), by Reina María Rodríguez, Winner of the 2020 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation and Finalist for the National Translation Award. With Kent Johnson she co-edited Materia Prima, a team-translated anthology featuring Berenguer (also from Ugly Duckling), Finalist for the 2020 Best Translated Book Award. Dykstra’s recent poems appear in Lana Turner 13 and 15, Almost IslandClade Song, Seedings; bilingually in La NoriaEl Nieuwe Acá, and Distropika (tr. Tina Escaja), and in Acrobata (tr. Floriano Martins). Her translations and reviews appeared in a variety of venues in 2021-2, some of which are AstraBig OtherLatin American Literature TodayThe CommonTwo LinesChicago Review, and The Rumpus.