Monday, 8 October 2007
Rene Ariza, Cuban poet (RIP)
He was a very good poet, also quite mad by all standards; full of joy at times and deeply depressed at others.
In 1967 he was awarded a national prize and hailed as a bright new playwright by the Fidel Castro regime. But when he decided to speak freely and changed his tune, and criticized the government, they threw him in jail where he spent seven years accused of being a counter-revolutionary parasite. He was taken from jail and put aboard a boat bound for Miami in the 1979 before the exodus of Mariel. There he went a bit crazy while searching for his piece of the American Dream.
He died in 1994 in San Francisco.