Nicolás Guillén. Notas para un estudio biográfico-cr’tico
. Tomo 1.
Havana: Empresa Consolidada de las Artes Gráficas, 1962. A very detailed biography of Nicolás Guillén written in Spanish. Has a section of photographs, pictures and a copy of the “Ideales de una raza” page from the “Diario de la marina” where Guillén published his eight “Motivos de son” poems for the first time. Langston Hughes’ role in Guillén’s life is given only cursory attention here.
Conroy Kennedy, Ellen, ed.
The Negritude Poets
. New York: Viking, 1975. This is an anthology in English translated from the French with a very good introduction. A short biography of each author is given as well as an abriged version of Aimé Césaire’s poem “Notes on a Return to the Native Land” in which he coined the term “Négritude.”
A History of West Africa: an Introductory Survey
. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1969.
El son cubano: poes’a general
. Havana: Letras Cubanas, 1986. Written in Spanish, this book gives the history of the
and refers to Nicolás Guillén’s use of the
Fernández de la Vega, Oscar and Alberto N. Pamiés.
Iniciación a la poes’a afro-americana
. Miami: Universal, 1973. Written in Spanish, this was a very good first book to read about the black poetry movement. Contains articles by and about the most important Spanish-speaking authors of the movement.
Fletcher, Valerie, et al.
Crosscurrents of Modernism Four Latin American Pioneers: Diego Rivera, Joaqu’n Torres-Garc’a, Wilfredo Lam, Matta
. Washington DC: Smithsonian, 1992. Has two wonderful articles about Wilfredo Lam, a very famous Afro-Cuban painter and contemporary of Nicolás Guillén. Connections are made between art and literature within the négritude movement. Contains color plates of his works and some photographs of him.
Gerard, Charley, Mary Sheller.
Salsa! The Rhythm of Latin Music
. Indiana: White Cliffs Media Co., 1989. Explains the evolution of the Salsa including its Afro-Cuban roots. Contains descriptions of instruments, a good glossary of musical terms and a very helpful bibliography/discography.
. Ed. Luis I–igo Madrigal. 8th ed. Madrid: Cátedra, 1995. Madrigal sets out in his introduction to this collection of works to prove that Nicolás Guillén should not be included in the poes’a negra movement. All the poems you would need for this unit are in this book, as well as helpful notes about the poems.
El libro de los sones
. Havana: Letras Cubanas, 1982. Written in Spanish, this is a collection of all Nicolás Guillén’s
based poems with an introduction explaining what the
is and what it has to do with his poetry. Also it tells about the circumstances surrounding the publication of his various works.
. Buenos Aires: Losada, 1992. Without an introduction, this book contains the poems from his books
Motivos de son
West Indies Ltd.
Espa–a: poema en cuatro angustias y una esperanza
. At the end of this book is a brief, but very helpful glossary of Cuban words.
I Wonder as I Wander: An Autobiographical Journey
. New York: Thunder’s Mouth P, 1986.
The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes
. Ed. Arnold Rampersad. New York: Knopf, 1994. Besides containing all the poetry by Langston Hughes you would need for this unit, this collection also has a brief chronology of his life and a short, but very helpful introduction to his poetry.
Langston Hughes: an Introduction to the Poetry
. New York: Columbia UP, 1976. This book contains a very good chapter on how Langston Hughes based his poetry on the blues that is concise and easy to understand.
Kutzinski, Vera M.
Sugar’s Secrets: Race and the Erotics of Cuban Nationalism
. Charlottesville: UP of Virginia, 1993. Chapter five gives a very good history and explanation of the Afro-Cubanist movement with information about the link between Langston Hughes and Nicolás Guillén. Chapter six has a very interesting interpretation of the sexism inherent in this poetic movement.
Manzano, Juan Francisco.
The Autobiography of a Slave Autobiograf’a de un esclavo
. Biling. Ed. Modern Spanish Version Ivan A. Schulman. Trans. Evelyn Picon Garfield. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1996. This is one of the only Cuban slave autobiographies known to exist. On one side of each page is the modern Spanish version of the text, while on the other is the English so that you can see both versions at once when you have the book open. A good introduction explains the circumstances in which the original work was created.
Mullen, Edward J., ed.
Langston Hughes in the Hispanic World and Haiti
. Hamden: Archon, 1977. Contains an introduction and description of Hughes’s travels through México, Cuba and Spain. The rest is articles and other artistic works written by and about Hughes relating to these countries. Has a reprint of the article by Nicolás Guillén about his second visit to Cuba “Conversación con Langston Hughes” from “Diario de la Marina.”
Murry, David R.
Odious Commerce: Britain, Spain and the Abolition of the Cuban Slave Trade
. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1980. An extremely detailed and long book about the Antillian slave trade. Contains a very good description of the
system that Spain set in place to make the slave trade profitable.
Olchyk, Marta K.
Historical Approach to Afro-Cuban Poetry
. Diss. Texas Christian U, 1972. Ann Arbor: UMI, 1972. 72-27,954. Contains many useful references to Nicolás Guillén’s work within the négritude movement. She gives her personal interpretations of some of his poetry that I found helpful.
African’a de la música folklórica de Cuba
. Cuba: U Central de las Villas, 1965. Fernando Ort’z, predominantly and anthropologist, is such an important figure at this time in Cuban history, that his works cannot be ignored. His Spanish prose is very long-winded however. You will need time to read this book. He has written extensively on all aspects of African influence in Cuba.
The Life of Langston Hughes Volume 1: 1902-1941 I, Too, Sing America
. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1986. This volume gives a very good account about Hughes’s second trip to Cuba and his meeting with Nicolás Guillén.
Roberts, John Storm.
The Latin Tinge: The Impact of Latin American Music on the United States
. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1979. Gives a small amount of information specific to Cuban music pertaining to this unit.
Black Music of Two Worlds
. New York: Morrow, 1974. Gives a moderate amount of information pertaining to Cuban music.
A Brief History of the Caribbean: From the Arawak and the Carib to the Present
. New York: Facts on File, 1992. There is very little that is specific to Cuba in this volume, but its survey format presents important information with brevity. This would be a good book for English-speaking students who need general information.
Sadie, Stanley, ed.
The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments
. 3 vols. London: Macmillan, 1984. Gives explanations of worldwide musical instruments throughout history. Contains pictures of some of the instruments I have explained in this unit.
Cuba From Columbus to Castro
. Washington DC: Pergamon, 1986. A very good and concise history of Cuba. This would be a very readable book for English-speaking students.
Tracy, Steven Carl.
The Influence of the Blues Tradition on Langston Hughes’s Blues Poems
. Diss. U of Cinncinnati, 1985. Ann Arbor: UMI, 1986. 8605510. This is a very detailed description on the subject that I have found invaluable.
La poes’a afroantillana
. Miami: Universal, 1979. Written in Spanish, this book contained some helpful information on Nicolás Guillén’s poetry and the movement in general.