“The pain comes not from nostalgia . . . I write because I cannot remember at all,” Carolina Hospital explains in her poem, “Dear Tía.” Hospital’s poetry becomes the art of tracing her journey through exile and across both psychological and cultural borders. Hospital left Cuba as a child, accompanying her parents seeking refuge in the U.S. Her creative act of recall, in poems written between 1983 and 2003, the formative years in the poet’s life, chronicles her search for meaning and identity as a woman and a Latina living in the U.S.
Hospital unravels the world around her, the hyphenated man, the vendors outside of the José Marti YMCA in Miami, the rafters who chart violent waters for a dream, and her own family and friends.
With stunning and sharp beauty, Hospital’s poems conjure a community caught between conflicting myths and cultures. She spins a wide range of themes: love and betrayal, motherhood and sacrifice, creation and the quest for faith, and loss of communication. In the end, this poetry memoir provides consolation, for it is in the common condition of exile and yearning to belong that we connect as human beings.