Wings of a Bird in Flight: Poets of the Cuban and Puerto Rican Diasporas

Room 2502B, Kansas City Convention Center, Level 2
Friday, February 9, 2024
10:35 am to 11:50 am


In 1893, when Lola Rodríguez de Tió wrote “Cuba y Puerto Rico son / de un pájaro las dos alas, / reciben flores o balas / en el mismo corazón,” she acknowledged the two island territories’ shared fates—from Spain’s final Caribbean colonies to early testing grounds for the United States’ evolving empire. This event brings together poets from Cuba and Puerto Rico’s collective diasporas to read from their work and discuss how diaspora and the politics behind it inform their poetics.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP_Event_Outline.pdf



Malcolm Friend is a poet and author of the collection Our Bruises Kept Singing Purple. He received his BA from Vanderbilt University and his MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. He has received fellowships from organizations including CantoMundo and the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics.

Jennifer Maritza McCauley is the author of Scar On/Scar Off and When Trying to Return Home. She received fellowships from the NEA, CantoMundo, and Kimbilio. Scar On/Scar Off received an IPPY award and When Trying to Return Home was a New York Times Editors' Choice. She teaches at UH-Clear Lake in Houston.

Yesenia Montilla is an Afro-Latina poet & a daughter of immigrants. Her first collection, The Pink Box, was longlisted for a PEN award. Her second collection, Muse Found in a Colonized Body, published by Four Way Books, was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in 2023. She spends her time in Harlem, New York.

Sara Daniele Rivera is a Cuban/Peruvian artist, writer, translator, and educator. Her poetry and speculative fiction have been published in journals and anthologies. Her community-based interdisciplinary arts practice often engages collaborative writing, public poetry, and text in space.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center