Andrés Cabrera (Holguín, 1995) is a poet and storyteller who graduated from the Onelio Jorge Cardoso Literary Training Center. With his texts, he has won awards in Cuba and other countries. His works make up several anthologies. We interviewed him for our series dedicated to young Cuban creators.
"Who are you writing for?"
—I write for myself, first of all, because I consider writing a liberating act, an extension of my body. That’s why I write; to express myself, to be free. Even if no one reads me, I would keep writing.
"Where do you find poetry?"
"Poetry roams everywhere." I personally find her in pain.
—Your poems, are they the impulse of a moment or a relaxing job?
—My poems are the impulse of a moment, of an emotion.
"When is a poem ready?"
—When the right words have been expressed, the necessary ones. When the beauty has been found.
"Are you a" character "in your poems?
—I am a character in all my texts.
"How much do you disclose in your literature?"
—In literature I have been disclosing little by little. I’ve been developing coolly, according to the moment and my personal development. Andrés Cabrera still has a lot to learn, to grow, to show.
"How much work do you throw away?" How much do you hide?
—In poetry I do tend to discard jobs that are not enough for me. On the other hand, in narrative, when I start to write it’s because I’ve already thought about everything; at least the fundamentals. Even though these aspects may vary. I’ve written several poems and stories still unpublished, as well as a novel that, at some point, I have to write an ending.
"Do you like reading your works aloud?"
—Yes, I enjoy reading my texts aloud, especially when I do it for others.
"Do you read?" Do you memorize your poems?
—Yes, I read; but I don't memorize my texts, except for occasional fragments.
"Do you drink meticulously from other authors?"
"Yes, I purposely drink from others." It’s a way to learn, to practice, to experiment, to overcome. What could become of the student without the knowledge of the teacher?
"Best time for writing, day or night?"
"There’s no exact time to write." Any given moment you can feel inspired; but I undoubtedly prefer the morning.
"What does the published work mean?"
—Publishing, apart from satisfaction, is opening the way to a new project.
Do you retouch, edit your texts over time?
—I usually re-read and republish my texts over time, hence for writers publishing is an act of liberation, of rest.
"Do you believe in the guild?"
"What’s your ideal reader?"
—My ideal reader is the one who has fun, the one who is willing to free himself from the shackles of reality, the one who is willing, like Margarita, to get on the broom and fly away.
"Is literature at some point alienation?"
"What do the awards mean to you?"
—Awards are not only recognitions for the author, but also a way to make visible a work and its fundamental aspects. But I also have to point out that awards are not indicators of greatness or quality. The last word will always be the readers, they are the true judges.
How do you handle criticism?
—I have to accept criticism with respect, taking it as a challenge that must be overcome.
"Would you like your texts to be musicalized?"
—I’ve never considered putting music to my texts, on the other hand, I’ve always wanted to see something of my narrative brought to reality, interpreted by someone from his personal vision. It would be interesting, wonderful.
Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff