Let's Hear Their Voices

Cuban American Writers of the Second Generation

Edited by Iraida H. López & Eliana S. Rivero

Subjects: Literature, Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Latin American Studies
Series: SUNY series in Multiethnic Literatures
Hardcover : 9781438477091, 186 pages, December 2019
Paperback : 9781438477084, 186 pages, December 2019

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Table of contents


Iraida H. López and Eliana S. Rivero

Introduction: Looking Back While Forging Ahead
Iraida H. López

Richard Blanco
Mail for Mama
La Bella Dama of Little Havana
Cooking with Mama in Maine
5:00 AM in Cuba
Matters of the Sea / Cosas del mar
Listening to Mermaids

Ana Menéndez
The Death of Lenin Garcia

Cecilia Rodríguez Milanés
Cienfuegos, Pearl of the South

Adrian Castro
Some Guayaberas Spell Nostalgia
Bilingual Bicultural by USA
Cuchillo de doble filo (I)
The Sound of One Immigrant Clapping
Itutu Sankofa 2003
Prayer for Naming Ceremony
Father Above, Mother Below, the Hanging Tree

Robert Arellano
Merienda en merica

Chantel Acevedo
The Child Hero’s Lament

Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas
Bird in the Hand
Notes on Returning to San Francisco Twenty-Five Years Later

Vanessa Garcia
This Is Not a Neon Sign

Derek Palacio
Home to Our Blood

Gabriela Garcia
Other Leticia

Works Cited

The first anthology of poetry, prose, and drama by second-generation Cuban American writers.


Let's Hear Their Voices brings together works by ten distinguished and emerging Cuban American writers of the "second generation"—writers who were born between 1960 and the mid-1980s in the United States to Cuban parents or have a mixed ethnic background. Called "ABCs" (American-Born Cubans) or "AmeriCubans," these writers experiment with different formal approaches and lace their work with Cuban Spanish to give voice to hybrid identities and cultural legacies within the contemporary multicultural United States. An introduction by Iraida H. López identifies key tropes in their poetry, prose, and drama, and provides an overview of Cuban American literature since the 1960s. With both original and previously published pieces by award-winning authors—including President Obama's Second Inaugural Poet, Richard Blanco—the volume makes a welcome contribution to the fields of Latinx and American literature, as well as critical discussions across disciplines about the intersections of latinidad with race, class, gender, and sexuality.

Iraida H. López is Professor of Spanish and Latino/a and Latin American Studies at Ramapo College of New Jersey and author of Impossible Returns: Narratives of the Cuban Diaspora. Eliana S. Rivero is Professor Emerita in the Spanish and Portuguese department at the University of Arizona and coeditor (with the Latina Feminist Group collective) of Telling to Live: Latina Feminist Testimonios.


"The selections chosen are excellent across the board. Collectively, they give a sense of the directions in which second-generation Cuban American writing is moving, as well as of its abiding concern with the country of origin of the first generation. The writing is impressive, strong, and compelling. " — Marta Caminero-Santangelo, University of Kansas