The Mundus Artium Prize 2023 – to CUBAN POET AND EDITOR ALEX PAUSIDES



Dallas, Texas — In a ceremony held April 14, 2023, in Havana, Cuba, a delegation from Dallas-based Mundus Artium: The Journal of International Letters and the Arts presented the 2023 Mundus Artium Prize to Cuban poet and editor Alex Pausides. The award marks the first time a U.S. institution has sent a delegation to give a prize to a Cuban poet.
According to Mundus Artium journal, the award, given annually for lifetime achievement in literature, honors Pausides for his “acclaimed, adventurous writing, his cultivation of progressive world literary communities, and his work as an ambassador for Cuba’s rich and vibrant culture.”

The Mundus Artium Prize award presentation, held at Havana’s Dulce María Loynaz Cultural Center, included opening remarks by Karel Keyva, president of the center’s Poetry Section, words of thanks from Pausides, and a speech by Mundus Artium director and co-editor Gjeke Marinaj, PhD, who traveled from Dallas to Havana to award the prize.

The ceremony in Havana also featured panelists Waldo Leyva, Nancy Morejón, Virgilio López Lemus, Ricardo Alberto Pérez and Julio César Sánchez, leading participants in Cuban literary life, who discussed and read from Pausides’ work. Representatives of Cuba’s national cultural traditions also performed during the event.
Marinaj noted that the decision to award the Mundus Artium Prize to Pausides takes into account “the profound impact he has had on the lives of countless individuals. His dedication to promoting understanding, unity and cultural exchange serves as an inspiration to us all.”

Cuba’s Minister of Culture Alpidio Alonso Grau, present for the occasion, noted, “Alex Pausides is an important Cuban poet and this is an important event; that’s why I’m attending the Mundus Artium Prize for literature ceremony.”

Published by Dallas-based Mundus Artium Press, Mundus Artium: The Journal of International Letters and the Arts is a literary journal founded by translation studies pioneer Dr. Rainer Schulte in 1967 and currently being relaunched by Dr. Marinaj and the journal’s co-editor, Dr. Frederick Turner.

Pausides’ receipt of the Mundus Artium Prize continues the notable history of literary recognition for the poet and editor. In Cuba, Pausides has won the Abril Award, the Gaceta de Cuba Prize, the Critic’s Award, and the Samuel Feijoo Award from the Economic Society of Friends of the Country. Beyond his native island, he has previously received the Vladimir Mayakovsky Award and the Mihai Eminescu Medal. Cuba has also given him the Replica of the Mambi Machete used by Generalissimo Maximo Gomez, a major award for Cuban intellectuals, as well as the Order of Juan Marinello and a special distinction for his contribution to national culture.

A prolific author, Pausides has also dedicated much of his life to furthering the literary interests of others. He is a longtime contributor to the work of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, or UNEAC, one of his country’s top cultural groups. After serving for more than a decade and a half as UNEAC’s vice president, in 2014 he became the organization’s president, a post he still holds. He is also the founder and leader of the literary organization and publisher Colección SurEditores — which celebrates its 30-year anniversary this year. He directs the CubaPoesia Cultural Center for reading and creative writing, and is also the general coordinator of the Havana International Poetry Festival — which he founded — and has helped judge some of the most important Cuban literary prizes.

The poet has been a director of El Caimán Barbudo, one of Cuba’s oldest monthly cultural reviews. Reflecting his concern for fostering culture in new generations, he also helped establish Cuba’s Hermanos Saíz Association of Young Writers and Artists, which in 2021 celebrated its 35th anniversary.

Complementing his cultural outreach in his own nation, Pausides has created and supported forums for literary internationalism, including the writers network Poets in Defense of Humanity and the organization World Poetry Movement. An active participant in literary events, conferences and symposiums both in and beyond Cuba, Pausides has lectured and given readings at universities and poetry festivals throughout Latin America, as well as in Europe and Asia.

Since Pausides’ literary emergence in the 1970s, his many publications have included Ah mundo amor mío (Ah World My Love); Aquí campeo a lo idílico (Here I Champion the Idyllic); Malo de magia (Bad Magic); Palabras a la innombrable (Words to the Nameless); Cuaderno del artista adolescente (Notebook of an Adolescent Artist); Habitante del viento (Inhabitant of the Wind); La casa del hombre (The House of Man); La Tinta del Alcatraz (The Ink of Alcatraz); Llaman desde algún sitio feliz (They Call from Somewhere Happy); Elogio dell´utopia (In Praise of Utopia); Pequeña gloria (Little Glory); Canción de Orfeo (Song of Orpheus); La extensión de la inocencia (The Extent of Innocene); Caligrafías (Calligraphy); Arte arcaico (Archaic Art) and other works. His poems have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Pausides has also engaged in interdisciplinary collaborations with artists from various fields — musicians, painters and filmmakers — producing works that celebrate Cuba’s heritage, as do his own.