Israel Ruiz Cumba (PR Books #7)

encuentros de memoria by Israel Ruiz Cumba (Isla Negra, 1996).

Israel Ruiz Cumba (1961-) is a professor at St. Mary’s College. His bio is here. He has two published books of poetry, this and a more recent 2007 book called Un abecedario para Eva Leite which also looks interesting. That’s about it, on the web.

There is a limited preview in Google books of this book here. For having little to no information available (no reviews, no blurbs, no poems popping up here and there) Ruiz Cumba actually looks like an incredibly interesting poet. This collection is divided into two sections: “Poemas del amor dificil” and “Poemas del amor más dificil” – “Poems for a difficult love” and “Poems for a more difficult love”. The kind of tongue-in-cheek attitude of the titles is sustained in the matter-of-fact tone in many of the poems. At least several are about revolutionary figures (Che Guevara, Roque Dalton) and there is an undertone of sardonic humor throughout. Also, unsurprisingly, there’s a pseudo-academic bent to many of these that is playful and funny at times.

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