A sixty-year-old man writes a poem and entitles it 'Anima'. Days later he writes another poem with a tone similar to the first, entitles it 'Anima', then realises he has just begun a series which must all bear the same title. Furthermore, the man decides that in the future and till the day of his death he is going to continue writing poems that, since they have this tone, will bear the title 'Anima'. At the end of a year, having written some 150 poems, he extracts from the accumulated mass 60 poems called 'Anima'. (Jose Kozer)
Jose Kozer (born Havana, 1940) is the son of parents who migrated to Cuba from Poland and Czechoslovakia in the 1920s, and the grandson of a founder of Adath Israel, Cuba's first Ashkenazi synagogue. He studied law at the University of Havana, left Cuba in 1960, and received a BA from New York University in 1965. He taught for many years at Queens College of the City University of New York, retiring as a full professor in 1997, after which he lived for two years in Spain before settling in South Florida. He is the author of over 15 collections of verse. His most recent, No buscan reflejarse (2002), a selection from past volumes, is the first poetry collection by a living Cuban exile to be published in Havana. Two small bilingual collections of his poems, The Ark Upon the Number (1982) and Projimos / Intimates (Barcelona, 1990), both translated by Amiel Alcalay, have been published. Stet, his own far more comprehensive selection of poems, appeared in a bilingual edition with translations by Mark Weiss, from Junction Press in 2003. Anima, in Peter Boyle's translation is the fourth collection of his work in English and the first to appear in the UK. He is also coeditor, with Roberto Echavarren and Jacobo Sefami, of Medusario Muestra de poesia latinoamericana/ a Sampling of Latin American Poetry (1996).
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