Photo: Violeta Urbina
Born in Guantánamo, Cuba, in May of 1946, in the heart of a family that had suffered two exiles, nine months of dictatorship under Bautista and, as the bolero goes, an entire lifetime of dictatorship under Castro, Octavio Armand has known the snow dreamed of by Casal as well as the entropic tropic where, according to Albemarle, everything rots. He lived for years in New York–there founding and directing the journal escandalar–and now he resides in Caracas. In Mexico, Calygramma has compiled his essays and poetry: Contra la página (2015) and Canto rodado (2017). In Bokeh, various books of his have been republished. Efory Atocha of Madrid and El Estilete of Caracas have embraced the matter of Cuba in El ocho cubano (2012) and Escribir es cubrir (2017). Refractions, a selection of paired poems and essays translated by Carol Maier, was published by Lumen Books in New York in 1994. Two Argentine friends, who he regrets never having met, commented on his work: Juan Antonio Vasco in Conversación con la esfinge and Luis Justo in Octavio Armand y el espejo o América como ucronía. Octavio Armand contra sí mismo, by Venezuelan writer Johan Gotera, was published by Efory Atocha.