The School of Night. Poets biographies July 30 2014

Alejandro Anreus was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1960. He and his family went into exile in 1970. He received his doctorate in art history from the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He was a curator at the Montclair Art Museum from1986 to 1993 and at the Jersey City Museum from 1993 to 2001. He is the author/co-author of Orozco in Gringoland (2001), Ben Shahn and The Passion of Sacco and Vanzetti (2001), The Social and The Real (2006) and Mexican Muralism, A Critical History (2012). In 2011 he collaborated with painter Arturo Rodríguez on Memento Mori, a collection of poems. His articles have appeared in Art Journal, Third Text, Encuentro de la Cultura Cubana and cubaencuentro. His poems have appeared in Bilingual Review and Revista Hispano Cubana de Cultura. He is currently completing a monograph on painter Luis Cruz Azaceta. Anreus is professor of art history at William Paterson University.


Lorenzo García Vega was born in Jagüey Grande, Matanzas, Cuba in 1926. He earned the degree of Doctor of Law and Philosophy from the University of Havana. In 1952 he received the National Prize for Literature in Cuba. A poet living in exile since the late 1960s, among his latest books are: Poemas para penúltima vez 1948-1989 (1991); Collages de un notario (1992), Espacios para lo huyuyo (1993), Variaciones a como veredicto para sol de otras dudas (1993), Palíndromo en otra cerradura (1999), El oficio de perder (2004), Cuerdas para Aleister (2005), No mueras sin laberinto (2005, and Devastación en el hotel San Luis (2007). García Vega was the youngest member of the legendary Cuba literary group Orígenes, the poets gathered around the magazine of the same name. He died in Miami in 2012.


José Kozer was born in Havana, Cuba in 1940. Kozer is the son of Polish and Czech parents who immigrated to Cuba in the 1920’s, as well as the grandson of a founder of Adath Israel, Cuba’s first Ashkenazi synagogue. He studied law at the University of Havana, and after leaving Cuba in 1960, he received his BA from NYU in 1965. He taught for many years at Queens College at the City University of New York, retiring as a full professor in 1997, after which he lived in Spain for two years before settling in South Florida. He is the author of over 15 collections of verses. He is a co-editor, along with Roberto Echavarren and Jacobo Sefamí, of  Medusario Muestra De Poesia Latinoamericana/ a Sampling of Latin American Poetry (1996).


Andrés Reynaldo  was born in Calabazar de Sagua, Cuba in 1953. He studied Philology at the University of Havana. He is member of the Mariel Generation, integrated by writers and artist that arrive to the US in 1980, during the Mariel boatlift crisis. Reynaldo has published the books of poetry Escrito a los 20 años (Havana, 1978), winner of the David Poetry Award from the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, and La canción de las esferas, awarded with the Letras de Oro literary prize from the University of Miami, and published by Editorial Salvat (Barcelona, 1987). Since 1980, he has contributed to numerous magazines and newspapers in the United States, Latin America and Spain. For over 20 years he has regularly published his columns in the newspaper El Nuevo Herald, where he served as Chief Information Officer until 2012.


Pio E. Serrano was born in San Luis, Cuba in 1941. He is a writer and editor exiled in Spain since 1974. In 1990 he founded in Madrid, along with Aurora Calvin, Editorial Verbum Publishing House. Serrano spent the first years of his life in San Luis, until 1946 when he moved to Güines, about 30 km south of Havana, where he attended elementary school, graduated from high school, edited several youth newspapers, was member of several Catholic associations and participate in activities against the Batista government. A year after the triumph of the revolution, in 1960, he moved to Havana, where he get involved with the group El Puente, led by the poet José Mario (1940-2002). In 1970, states its intention to leave the country and is required, along with his then wife, the poet Edith Llerena (1936-2006), to await the departure authorization working in an agricultural camp. In 1974, he finally arrived to the exile in Madrid. His books of poetry include: A propia sombra (1978), Cuaderno de viaje (1981), Segundo cuaderno de viaje (1987), and Poesía Reunida (1987).


David Shapiro was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1947. In addition to his many books, he has published art criticism and poetry in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Artforum. He has received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Zabel Prize for Experimental Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a nomination for a National Book Award in 1971.  He has edited volumes on aesthetics, translated Alberti’s poems about Picasso, collaborated with Rudy Burchhardt on three films, and had a play produced at the Kitchen called Two Boys on the Bus.  A professional violist in his youth, he now writes in Riverdale, New York, where he lives with his wife Lindsay.


Laura Y. Tartakoff lives by night and day in Cleveland, where she teaches courses on law and Latin American politics at Case Western Reserve University. Born in Santiago de Cuba, she was born again in Havana, where she learned to read and write. Tartakoff’s interest centers on poetry, constitutionalism, democratization, and human rights. Her essays have appeared in European Community, La Tribune de Geneve, Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, and Society, where she serves as a senior editor since 2013. She has lived for extended periods of time in Europe and Latin America and taught in Paris and Geneva. At home in English, French, and Spanish, she has published poetry and prose in all three languages. She is author of Mujer Martes (1976), Entero Lugar (1994), and Intimo Color (2002). In 2012, Verbum editorial (Madrid) published her Inventario y otros poemas. She sometimes thinks and forgets, dreams, writes, and travels. Hungary’s new Constitution and coalitions in Uruguay and Chile have inspired her most recent articles.

Fernando Villaverde was born in Havana, Cuba, where he published his firsts short tales and critical works. He worked as a writer and producer of documentaries and fictional works in the Cuban Institute on Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC), although much of his work was never exhibited. After leaving Cuba, he continued working in New York on his  experimental, independent films, also serving as news editor for the Latin American Department of The Associated Press. In Miami he worked for The Miami Herald newspaper, and his sister publication in Spanish, El Nuevo Herald, in which he had a column of literary criticism. Villaverde is a twice winner of literary award Letras de Oro sponsored by the Ministry for International Cooperation of Spain and the University of Miami, for his literary work Cosas de viejos and his collection of stories Los labios pintados de Diderot. Among others published books are Cuaderno de caligrafía (poetry), and his latest collection of stories El andar de los cangrejos. His works of poetry, fiction and criticism have been published in literary magazines in several countries and his stories have been published in anthologies in Spain, Mexico, United States, UK and Croatia. He resides in Barcelona.


Bruce Weber is the author of five published books of poetry, These Poems are Not Pretty (Miami: Palmetto Press, 1992), How the Poem Died (New York: Linear Arts, 1998), Poetic Justice (New York: Ikon Press, 2004), The First Time I Had Sex with T. S. Eliot (New York: Venom Press, 2004), and The Break-up of My First Marriage (Rogue Scholars Press).  Bruce’s work has appeared in numerous magazines, as well as in several anthologies. including Up is Up, But So Is Down: Downtown Writings, 1978-1992 (New York: New York University, 2006), and Riverine: An Anthology of Hudson Valley Writers (New Paltz, New York: Codhill Press, 2007), and The Unbearables Big Book of Sex (Autonomedia, 2010). He has performed regularly in the tri-state area, both alone and with his performance group, Bruce Weber’s No Chance Ensemble, which has produced the CD Let’s Dine Like Jack Johnson Tonight (  He is the producer of the 19 years running Alternative New Year’s Day Spoke Word/Performance Extravaganza. By day, Bruce is Senior Curator at the National Academy Museum, and splits his time between his homes in New York City and Saugerties, New York.