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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

07:00 PM  
Kaktus/Playhouse Margaret Randall & Eleuterio Santiago-Díaz


Tuesday October 26th, 7 pm MT via ZOOM

followed by open mic.

Hosted by John Roche


6 pm Pacific, 7 pm Mountain, 8 pm Central, 9 pm Eastern


Margaret Randall and Eleuterio Santiago-Díaz


Register in advance for this free reading:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

If you want to read at the opan mic, answer YES to the question when you register.   Free - donations accepted for the poets!



Margaret Randall




Margaret Randall's latest books: I NEVER LEFT HOME: POET, FEMINIST, REVOLUTIONARY (Duke University Press, 2020), THINKING ABOUT THINKING (Casa Urraca Press, September 2021), and OUT OF VIOLENCE INTO POETRY (Wings Press, September 2021). Forthcoming in the next few months are ARTIST IN MY LIFE (New Village Press), STORMCLOUDS LIKE UNKEPT PROMISES (with photographs by Barbara Byers, Casa Urraca Press), and LUPE'S DREAM AND OTHER STORIES (Wings Press).


Poet, feminist, photographer, oral historian, and social activist Margaret Randall was born in New York City and grew up in New Mexico. Returning to New York in the 1950s, she was associated with both the abstract expressionists and the Beats. She moved to Mexico City in the 1960s, where she cofounded and coedited the bilingual literary journal El Corno Emplumado/The Plumed Horn. Randall took an active part in the Mexican student movement of 1968 and was forced to flee the country, traveling first to Prague and then to Cuba, where she lived for 11 years with her partner and four children. Randall wrote about those experiences in her memoir To Change the World: My Years in Cuba (2009). In an interview with Laura Ruiz Montes coinciding with the Cuban publication of the book, Randall summed up her years in 1970s Cuba: “Cuba took us in as it took in so many in those years. We chose to live as much as possible as Cubans did, and little by little learned about life in a revolutionary society, with all its benefits and problems. The experience gave me a great deal: the idea that ‘another world is possible.’ It also taught us firsthand about the difficulties inherent in making such dramatic systemic change.”

In 1980, Randall moved to Nicaragua, where she lived during the years of the Sandinistas. Many of her books are attempts to understand how socialist revolutionary societies intersect, or fail to intersect, with feminism: Cuban Women Now: Interview with Cuban Women (1974), Sandino’s Daughters: Testimonies of Nicaraguan Women in Struggle (1981), Sandino’s Daughters Revisited: Feminism in Nicaragua (1994), and Gathering Rage: The Failure of 20th Century Revolutions to Develop a Feminist Agenda (1992). She is the author of more than 90 books of poetry, prose, oral testimony, and memoir, including, recently, Che on My Mind (2014), a feminist reflection on the life and legacy of Che Guevara; More Than Things (2014), a collection of personal essays; and Haydée Santamaría, Cuban Revolutionary: She Led by Transgression (2015). Randall’s recent collections of poetry include Ruins (2011), The Rhizome as a Field of Broken Bones (2013), and About Little Charlie Lindbergh (2014). She also edited the anthology Only the Road/Solo El Camino: Eight Decades of Cuban Poetry (2016).

In 1984, Randall returned to the United States, only to face deportation under the McCarran-Walter Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952; her writings were declared “against the good order and happiness of the United States.” After a five-year legal battle, Randall won her case. She received a Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett grant for writers victimized by political repression and a PEN New Mexico Dorothy Doyle Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing and Human Rights Activism. Her photographs are in the Capitol Art Foundation’s permanent collection, and Randall herself is the subject of a documentary by Lu Lippold and Pam Colby, The Unapologetic Life of Margaret Randall.

Randall lives with her wife, the painter Barbara Byers, in New Mexico.





Eleuterio Santiago-Díaz


Eleuterio Santiago-Díaz is a poet, professor, and literary critic. The ninthof ten children of a carpenter and a homemaker, he was born and raised in the rural southeastern coast of Patillas, Puerto Rico. Since an early age, he was exposed to poetry through school and community gatherings where diverse forms of artistic performance were a mainstay of communal life. Upon graduation from the University of Puerto Rico, he worked for seven years as a teacher of Spanish, physical education, and industrial arts, and as an elementary school librarian in Puerto Rican public schools. He earned a Master’s degree in Spanish from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies from Brown University. He currently is an Associate Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at The University of New Mexico. His teaching and research center on Afro-Caribbean and Caribbean literature examined in light of theories of race, writing and modernity; Latino-Caribbean literature in the United States; and Modern Latin American poetry. Before joining UNM in 2003, he taught language and literature in the departments of Spanish and Portuguese and African and Diaspora Studies at Tulane University, and at Cambridge Community College and St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.


Santiago-Díaz is the author of the poetry books Árbol de plaza talado en su novena edad (San Juan, P.R., Publicaciones Gaviota, 2021) and Breaths (Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 2012), the scholarly book Escritura afropuertorriqueña y modernidad (Pittsburgh, PA: IILI/University of Pittsburgh, 2007), and articles published in academic journals and anthologies such as Revista Iberoamericana, Confluencia, Bilingual Review, Revista de Literatura, História e Memória, and Marvels of the African World: Cultural Patrimony, New World Connections, and Identities (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2003). Pending publication, he has several creative projects: the poetry books Kernel and The Mollusk and the Thumb, and a collection of short stories titled El circo.