Regino Pedroso

Begoña has traveled to Havana to interview the heir of the Cuban poet Regino Pedroso, whose work was presented to us by his widow, Petra Ballagas, on our first trip to Cuba in 1991. We have always been very interested in his work, and since then we have had the opportunity to learn more about it.

Regino Pedroso (1896-1983) is the author of, among other works, the poetry books titled Nosotros (Us) and El ciruelo de Yuan Pei Fu (Yuan Pei Fu’s Plum Tree). The poet Luis Antonio de Villena, in a review published for the reissue of said work in 2011, dedicated to him an affectionate article that began as follows: ‘I believe not much is known in Spain about this unique and more than notable Cuban poet, Regino Pedroso (1896-1983), who was unique even as a person. Pedroso was a very Cuban mix of white, black, and Chinese. He was born when Cuba was still Spanish and died at the age of 86 in the midst of Fidel Castro’s regime, which he experienced from up-close and afar. Because for many years he was a friend, but not entirely, of the official poet Nicolás Guillén. He started out in late modernity, had a taste for what was luxurious and loud, and was a humble and self-taught worker, but in 1933 (in ‘Dario de la Marina’, which was the island’s cultured right-leaning newspaper) he published ‘Salutación fraterna al taller mecánico’, which is usually considered the inaugural poem of social and protest poetry in Cuba, then under the dictatorship of Gerardo Machado…’

The photograph, by Begoña Lobo, corresponds to the poet’s study, preserved in his home-museum, where Regino’s personal library is kept, as well as originals of his works and numerous graphic documents.