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Ricardo Pau-Llosa

Ricardo Pau-Llosa was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1954. He fled Cuba with his family in 1960, and in 1971, he graduated from the Belén Jesuit Preparatory High School in Miami, Florida. He received a BA from Florida International University in 1974 and an MA from Florida Atlantic University in 1976.

His first poetry collection, Sorting Metaphors (Anhinga Press, 1983), was selected by William Stafford as the first recipient of the Anhinga Poetry Prize. Richard Wilbur writes, “Ricardo Pau-Llosa’s remarkable first book is full of poems which, however surprising or dream-like, are consistently lucid expressions of mind and world.”

Pau-Llosa is also the author of Man (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2014); Parable Hunter (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2008); Cuba (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1993), which was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize; and Bread of the Imagined (Bilingual Press, 1992), among others.

Also a critic of Latin American and Cuban art, Pau-Llosa lives in Miami, Florida.


Man (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2014)
Parable Hunter (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2008)
The Mastery Impulse (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2003)
Vereda Tropical (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1999)
Cuba (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1993)
Bread of the Imagined (Bilingual Press, 1992)
Sorting Metaphors (Anhinga Press, 1983) 

By This Poet


Soldiers Washing (1927)

     after the painting by Stanley Spencer 

Even washing is a task, in war and daily
life. The warm and pour, the fresh linen,
the hourglass of soap in its melt telling
us how our tired flesh gleams to fiction
renewal. Time is at war. We are meant to lose
that we may grasp what we know: the waste
of passioned effort. The soldier nearest to us
dunks his face in the bowl, a murky foretaste
of baptismal death. This halo we discover
from which he’ll surely rise, suspender cords
rhyming the sink. Next to him another
wrings the towel and turns his head toward
Bellona. Not incongruous. The patroness,
too, of the trench of days and the hearth’s duress.