City of a hundred fires

Document Type



Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Creative Writing

First Advisor's Name

Campbell McGrath

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Dan Wakefield

Third Advisor's Name

Mary Jane Elkins

Date of Defense



These poems capture the "coming of age" experiences encountered by a Cuban-American narrator in the United States and in Cuba. The poems in the book appear chronologically, that is to say, not in the order they were written, but according to the age of the poet-speaker, ranging from early adolescence to young adulthood. The poems in Part I reveal the fragmented traditions and heritage inherited by a first generation Cuban-American, while questioning the complex merging of the two cultures encountered by the poet-speaker. In Part II, the majority of the poems are set in Cuba, as the poet-speaker travels through the living history of his "homeland" to explore the cultural roots discovered in its landscapes, traditions, relatives and towns, like Cienfuegos-"the city of a hundred fires". The style and language of the poetry become unique to the poet-speaker's own cultural vision, the Cuban-American experience transformed to lyric poetry.



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