Pedro de Jesús
Born in 1970, Pedro de Jesús has published short stories, a novel, criticism, and poetry in Cuba and abroad. His stories, which began to appear in the 1990s, were among the first published in Cuba to deal explicitly with gay, lesbian, shifting, and ambiguous sexual identities. He has twice won the country’s major literary award, the Premio Carpentier, once for fiction and once for criticism, as well the annual award of La Gaceta de Cuba. His two story collections have been published in English translation as Vital Signs (Diálogos, 2014) and Frigid Tales (City Lights, 2002), both translated by Dick Cluster, but his poetry has never appeared in English before. Emilio Bejel (UC Davis, author of <i>Gay Cuban Nation</i> and multiple volumes of his own poetry) called Vital Signs “an extraordinary and fascinating work . . . a window into the imagination of the Cuban people.” His collection Granos de mudez (2009), which collects his verse written in a wide variety of styles and forms, was awarded the Premio Raúl Ferrer for poetry. Besides his pioneering role in queer Cuban literature, de Jesús is unusual among leading Cuban writers for being based in the provincial town of Fomento, in the center of the island, rather than in Havana or abroad.