Margaret Randall: KPFAs Tribute to the great writer, poet, feminist, photographer and international activist
KPFA Radio 94.1FM presents
MARGARET RANDALL: KPFAs Tribute to the great writer,
poet, feminist, photographer and international activist
Hosted by San Francisco Poet Laureate Alejandro Murguia
advance tickets: Books Inc/Berkeley, Pegasus (3 stores), Moes, Walden Pond Bookstore, Diesel a Bookstore, Mrs. Dalloways
This rare tribute by KPFA is presented to honor the life and work of an author who has
shown exceptional creativity and a lifelong striving for justice and equality.
Margaret Randall, born in New York City, is a writer, photographer, poet, activist and academic. She lived for many years in Spain, Mexico, Cuba, and Nicaragua, and spent time in North Vietnam during the last months of the U.S. war in that country. She has written extensively on her experiences abroad and back in the United States, and has taught atTrinity Collegein Hartford, Connecticut, and several other colleges.
Randall moved to Mexico in the 1960s, married Mexican poetSergio Mondragonand gave up her American citizenship.She moved to Cuba in 1969, where she deepened her interest in women’s issues and wrote oral histories of mainly women, “wanting to understand what a socialist revolution could mean for women. Her 2009 memoirTo Change The World: My Years in Cubachronicles that period of her life. She lived in Managua, Nicaragua, from 1980 to 1984, writing about Nicaraguan women, before returning to the U.S. after an absence of 23 years.
Shortly afterward she was ordered deported under theMcCarran-Walter Actof 1952. The governments case rested on two arguments. First, while living in Mexico and married to a Mexican citizen, she had taken out Mexican citizenship, thereby presumably losing her U.S. citizenship.This was in 1967. In addition, under McCarran-Walter, the government claimed that the opinions Randall expressed in several of her books were “against the good order and happiness of the United States”. TheINSdistrict director gave the justification that “her writings go far beyond mere dissent. With the support of many well-known writers and others, Randall won aBoard of Immigration Appealscase in 1989, ordering the INS to reinstate full citizenship.
Among her best-known books areCuban Women Now,Sandinos Daughters, andWhen I Look into the Mirror and See You: Women, Terror and Resistance. Recent titles includeTo Change the World: My Years in Cuba, Che On My Mind, andHaydée Santamaría: She Led by Transgression, and Exporting Revolution: Cubas Global Solidarity. Among her most recent poetry collections: My Town, The Rhizome as a Field of Broken Bones, About Little Charlie Lindbergh, She Becomes Time, and The Morning After: Poetry and Prose in a Post-Truth World.
Alejandro Murguia, San Francisco Poet Laureate, is the author of This War Called Love (City Lights), Southern Front, Volcan: Poems from Central America, and Stray Poems.