If a journey is a metaphor for life
and writing, I began my movements in the Cardona Clinic,
Havana, Cuba (where I was born under the sign of Capricorn
on a sunny January 16 in the Chinese year of the Dragon).
I have never returned to my point of departure and am
uncertain whether or not I have a destination. Like Sterne's
protagonist in Tristram Shandy, I consider my autobiography
a journey and you, traveler, may accompany me on it.
Autobiography: Carlota Caulfield (Written
for Gale Research Contemporary Authors Autobiography
Series, (Volume 25, 1996).
Caulfield is a poet, translator and literary
critic. She earned a Licenciatura in History at the University
of Havana, M.A. in Spanish Literature at San Francisco State
University, and a Ph.D. in Spanish and Latin American literatures
at Tulane University. Born in Havana, Cuba, she lived in Dublin,
Zürich, New York, San Francisco, New Orleans, Oakland
and London. Since 1992 has made her home in Berkeley, while
traveling frequently to London and Barcelona.
Caulfield is the author of eleven books of poems, amongst
them are At the Paper Gates with Burning Desire, The Book
of Giulio Camillo (a model for a theater of memory), El libro
de Giulio Camillo (maqueta para un teatro de la memoria) /
Il Libro de Giulio Camillo (modello per un teatro della memoria),
Movimientos metálicos para juguetes abandonados
(First Hispanoamerican Poetry Prize “Dulce María
Loynaz”, Spain-Cuba 2002), Quincunce / Quincunx,
Ticket to Ride. Essays and Poems, A Mapmaker’s Diary:
Selected Poems and Fashionable. Una poeta adicta
a la moda. Her poems, have appeared in literary journals
in the United States, Europe, and Latin America.
She has translated into Spanish selections of poems by the
American writer Jack Foley, and by the Irish poets Eavan Boland,
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Nuala Ní
Dhomhnaill, Rita Ann Higgins, Paula Meehan, Medbh McGuckian,
Sara Berkeley and Catherine Walsh. Amongst her published translations
into English are poems by Regino E. Boti (Kindred Spirits),
José Angel Valente (Dossier José Angel Valente.
A Selection of his Poetry), and Gustavo Vega (A Fish Pierced
the Moon). Her translation of Un bárbaro en Barcelona
(A Barbarian in Barcelona) by Antonio Beneyto was published
by HakaBooks in 2013.
Caulfield is co-translator of From the Forbidden Garden.
Letters from Alejandra Pizarnik to Antonio Beneyto, Còdols
in New York by Antonio Beneyto, poems by Neus Aguado,
Carmen Borja, Mariana Colomer, Gemma Ferrón, Concha
García, Rosa Lentini, Gemma Mañá Delgado,
M. Cinta Montagut, Teresa Pascual, Teresa Shaw and Esther
Zarraluki (The Other Poetry of Barcelona. Spanish and
Spanish-American Women Poets)._ She is the editor of
Web of Memories. Interviews with Five Cuban Poets, From
the Forbidden Garden. Letters from Alejandra Pizarnik to Antonio
Beneyto, Voces viajeras. Poetas cubanas de hoy. Caulfield
co-edited Literary and Cultural Journeys. Selected Letters
to Arturo Torres-Rioseco,The Other Poetry of Barcelona. Spanish
and Spanish-American Women Poets, Alejandra Pizarnik: Dos
letras, A Companion to U.S. Latino Literatures, and No
soy tu musa: Poetas irlandesas contemporáneas.
She is The co-editor of Barcelona: Visual Culture, Space
and Power, published by the University of Wales Press
in 2012 & 2014.
Amongst her awards are a Cintas Fellowship for Poetry, The
International Prize “Ultimo Novecento”, Poets
of the World” (Italy, 1988), Honorable Mention in the
1997 Latino Literature Prize of the Latin American Writers
Institute of New York , and the First Hispanoamerican Poetry
Prize “Dulce María Loynaz” (2002). Other
recognitions are a Mellon Fellowship, two grants from the
Hispanic Scholarship Fund, a grant from the Irvine Foundation,
a Quigley Fellowship from the Women’s Studies Program
at Mills College, and several Summer Quigley Women’s
Studies and Mills College grants for Creative Writing and
Research, two Fellowships at the IGRS (Institute of Germanic
and Romance Studies, University of London and a research fellowship
at the University of Barcelona.
Her poem “Carta de una virgen del sol a su amante”/”Letter
from a Virgin of the Sun to her Lover” from A las
puertas del papel con amoroso fuego/At the Paper Gates with
Burning Desire has been set to music by the Mexican composer
Hilda Paredes under the title Quipú del amor, for soprano,
mezzo, tenor, bass, trombone, and one percussionist. Premiered
by Neue Vocal with the soloists Mike Svoboda and Boris Müller
at the Pragsattel Theatre in Struggart, September 2007.
She has given poetry readings and lectures on her work at
colleges, universities, Art Galleries, and Cultural Centers
around the country and in Europe and Latin America, including
Middlebury College, University of Colorado en Colorado Springs,
Barnard College, University of New Mexico, Louisiana State
University, University of Kentucky, George Washington University,
University of Davis, Marquette University, University of Texas
(El Paso), Mills College, Pomona College, University of Zürich,
Palazzo Gambacorti (Pisa, Italy), University of Gröningen,
University College London, Queen Mary and Westfield College
(London), the Ateneu Científic, Literari i Artistic
(Maó, Menorca), El Hijo del Cuervo (México D.F.),
Centro Cultural PROMACC (Cádiz), Toynbee Studios (London),
Casa de América (Madrid), Instituto Cervantes/Cervantes
Institute (London and Dublin), ACEC (Associació Col.
legial d’escriptors de Catalunya) (Barcelona), the Dylan
Thomas Centre (Swansea, Wales), the Art Galleries Bridge Center
for Contemporary Art (El Paso, Texas), EUDE and Berkoa (Barcelona),
and Torre Muntadas (Prat de Llobregat), Pegasus Books (Berkeley),
Palacio de Minería (México, D.F.), University
of Barcelona and Ajuntament de Caldes d’Estract (Catalunya).
Caulfield is Professor and Head of the Spanish and Spanish-American
Studies Program at Mills College, where she teaches courses
in Iberian and Latin American culture and literature. Her
research interests include the avant-garde and interdisciplinary
approaches to poetry and art. Between 1998 to 2002, Caulfield
was the editor of Corner,
an online journal dedicated to the avant-garde.