An Interview and Ten Poems
Jose Kozer interview by Paul Nelson
Three Friends Carousel is the transcript of an interview conducted with Neruda-prize winning poet José Kozer at his Hallendale Beach home over two days, January 18 and 19, 2015, by Paul Nelson. The wide-ranging conversation delves into Kozer’s main three books translated into English: Stet, Anima and Tokonoma, as well as how he ended up leaving Cuba, his thoughts about the warming of relations between the U.S. and Cuba, the deepening of his work because of his voracious reading and writing practice, how poems come to him quickly in the moment, his use of parenthesis, the ant as a recurring symbol in his work, spirituality, how he was Bob Dylan’s bartender for three months in 1963 in Woodstock, New York, his notions about the seriality of his work and how to curse properly as a Cuban, among other topics. Nelson, a deft interviewer who has conducted over 500 interviews, mostly with poets and authors, displays a keen sense of Kozer’s work and creates an environment in which Kozer is purely his authentic self. Amalio Madueño adds translations of ten new Kozer poems, published in Spanish and English. This book is an invaluable contribution to Kozer’s work and life which is horrifically undervalued in the country in which he has lived for many years because of his decision to write only in Spanish.