Prof. Millar Publishes Article on Cuban and Angolan Poetry
Lanie Millar, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, has published an article titled “Luanda in Santiago and Santiago in Luanda: Trans-Atlantic Dimensions in Cuban and Angolan Poetry” in the most recent issue of MLN (vol. 133, no. 5, December, 2018, pp. 1277-1303). The article examines how several groups of twentieth-century Cuban and Angolan poems portray trans-Atlantic exchange between the Caribbean and Africa. It analyzes both mid-twentieth-century anti-colonial poems as well as late-twentieth-century poems written about Cuba’s support for the leftist party during Angola’s civil war, focusing on works by Cubans Nicolás Guillén, Antonio Conte, and Víctor Casaus and Angolans Agostinho Neto, Viriato da Cruz, and Manuel Rui. The poems are often considered only in their limited service to particular political messages. However, Millar argues that poetic nuances often remain hidden or unnoticed if we ignore the poetic in overtly political poetry. The article shows that these poems conceive of a more complex and nuanced idea of the Atlantic world than the simple notion of Africa as the sole origin of cultural inspiration for communities formed through slavery and colonization, which poets in the Americas imitate or copy. As a result, the article argues, considering these groups of poems together reveals something much more complex than facile political messaging: an alternative social and political community that stretches between the Caribbean and Africa, founded on networks of readers and writers of poetry.