Kozer, José

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KOZER, JOSÉ (1940– ), Cuban poet, essayist, and translator, born in La Havana of Jewish East European parents. He left Cuba in 1960, lived in the U.S. and Spain, and ultimately settled in Florida. He taught Spanish and Latin American literatures for 32 years at Queens College, n.y. His poetry centers on his existential condition as a Jew and an exile, from which he strives towards a universal spiritual unity for the individual and mankind as a whole. It includes references to his ancestors and Jewish tradition as well as Christian and Oriental religious imagery. Kozer's poetry has been translated into English, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Hebrew, and Greek and has been widely anthologized. Among his books are La rueca de los semblantes ("The Spinning Wheel of Faces," 1980); Bajo este cien ("Under This One-Hundred," 1983); La garza sin sombras ("The Shadeless Heron," 1985); Carece de causa ("Lacking a Cause," 1988); De donde oscilan los seres en sus proporciones ("From Where Beings Oscillate in Their Proportions," 1990); et mutabile ("and mutating," 1995); Dípticos ("Diptychs," 1998); Farándula ("Show Business," 1999); Mezcla para dos tiempos ("Mixture for Two Times," prose, 1999); No buscan reflejarse ("They Do Not Try To Be Reflected," 2001); Ánima ("Soul," 2002).


R. DiAntonio and N. Glickman, Tradition and Innovation: Reflections on Latin American Jewish Writing (1993); D.B. Lockhart, Jewish Writers of Latin America. A Dictionary (1997); G. Pérez Firmat, Life on the Hyphen: The Cuban-American Way (1994); J. Sefamí, La voracidad grafómana: José Kozer. Crítica, entrevistas y documentos (2002).

[Florinda F. Goldberg (2nd ed.)]