poem index


Pablo Medina

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Pablo Medina

Pablo Medina was born in Havana, Cuba, and moved to New York City with his family at the age of twelve. He received a BA and an MA from Georgetown University.

Medina is the author of several poetry collections, including The Island Kingdom (2015), The Man Who Wrote on Water (Hanging Loose Press, 2011), Points of Balance/Puntos de apoyo (Four Way Books, 2005), The Floating Island (White Pine Press, 1999), and Arching into the Afterlife (Bilingual Review Press, 1991). With Carlos Ordonez, he published thephotography and poetry book Calle Habana (PhotoStroud) in 2013.

He is also the author of the memoir Exiled Memories: A Cuban Childhood (University of Texas Press, 1990) and several novels, including Cubop City Blues (Grove/Atlantic, 2012). Also known for his work in translation, Medina translated Federico García Lorca’s Poet in New York (Grove/Atlantic, 2008) with poet Mark Statman.

Medina is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund, among numerous other honors and awards. Medina served on the board of directors for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs from 2002 to 2007 and as president from 2005 to 2006. He currently teaches and directs the MFA program at Emerson College. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

Selected Bibliography

The Island Kingdom (2015)
The Man Who Wrote on Water (Hanging Loose Press, 2011)
Points of Balance/Puntos de apoyo (Four Way Books, 2005)
The Floating Island (White Pine Press, 1999)
Arching into the Afterlife (Bilingual Review Press, 1991)

Cubop City Blues (Grove/Atlantic, 2012)
The Cigar Roller (Grove/Atlantic, 2005)
The Return of Felix Nogara (Persea Books, 2000)
The Marks of Birth (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1994)
Exiled Memories: A Cuban Childhood (University of Texas Press, 1990)

by this poet

Let the aroma of need
waft across the river to New Jersey:

all the snow and hills,
a sky that moves and moves.

I saw a rose in the clouds,
I saw happiness on fire.
for Karen Bentivenga
Sometimes in the heat of the snow
you want to cry out

for pleasure or pain like a bell.
And you wind up holding each other,

listening to the in-between 
despite the abyss at the edge of the table. 

Hell. Mulgrew Miller plays like a big 
bad spider, hands on

God likes to be played like a piano.
Dawn glows with sailors dancing in the eye of a storm
by the river of black water. These days
things make sense under the green and yellow
and brown sky of Granada and I wear a tie as penance
for the sins of my navel. The saints of the north
and the