SSF 2019 Featured Poet Perla Gonzalez


Perla Gonzalez

Perla was born in Cuba, daughter of a singer and guitarist. Since she was little, she liked reciting Jose Marti’s poetry and enjoyed reading song lyrics like they were poems. Early on, she distinguished herself in school and participated in several activities. In her adolescence, she began to write love poems among them “The Strangest Thing” “It Made A Dark Sea” “Your House” etc. In the 1960s-70s, she participated in literary salons and the so-called “Nueva Trova”. The instability of the political climate made Perla’s life run a dynamic and fast course and soon she found herself living with two children, working in a hospital.

Even so, over the years, in her different spheres, she competed and won some literature and poetry contests. Always loving poetry, she collected books by Noguera, Jose Marti, Getrudis Gomez de Avellan Eda, Walt Whitman among many more. When she immigrated to the United States, the course of her life once again changed. The “sun of her life began to set” and now, 70 and retired, she has decided to write some poems, in a jokingly competitive manner, with her son and granddaughter, seeing as both write beautiful poetry.

Today she hopes to share the stage with her young granddaughter not to show off but more to motivate and stir the talent of the youth and to show them that there is no age or limit to dream and write.


Perla nacio en Cuba, hija de un cantante y guitarista. Desde pequeña le gustaba recitar las poesías de José Martí y disfrutaba leyendo las letras de las canciones como si fueran poesias. Muy pronto se distinguo en su escuela y participaba en multiples eventos, En su adolescencia comenzo a escribir poemas de amor entre ellos “Lo Mas Extrano” “Hacia un Mar Oscuro” “Tu Casa” entre otros. En los anos 60-70s participo en las penas literarias y de la llamada “nueva trova”. Pero la inestabilidad del sistema hizo que la vida de Perla corriera de forma dynamica y rapida y muy pronto se vio casada con dos ninos, trabajando en un hospital. Aun asi a traves de estos anos en sus diferentes escuelas concurso y gano algunos concursos de literatura y poesia.

Amando siempre la poesia, colecciono libros de Noguera, Jose Marti, Gertrudis Gomez de Avellan Eda, Walt Whitman entre muchos. Emigro a las Estados Unidos, camiando el rumbo de su vida. Hasta que al caer la tarde ya con 70 anosm retirada, decidio escribir algunos poemas a modo “de broma competitiva” con su hijo y nieta ya que ambos escriben bellos poemas. Hoy espera compartir con su joven nieta, no para sobresalir sino para motivar y exaltar el talento de la joven generacion y de mostrarle que no hay edad ni limites para sonar y escribir.

Whether she's hosting a spoken word event, music festival, or playing the role of a santera or vixen, Deborah Magdalena makes every emotion super real. This performance artist has acquired impressive TV & Film credits for the past twenty years including Sesame Street (CTW), Apollo Comedy Hour (Tribune Entertainment), Safe Harbor (Warner Brothers), Striptease (Castle Rock), Holyman (Caravan), and For Love or Country (HBO). As a published spoken word artist Deborah has released three CDs, a chapbook, and the spoken word musical FUNKdalena. As an artist-activist she’s the founder of Spoken Soul Festival, a twelve year old, three-day festival that helps women artists go from novice to professionals. As an educator Deborah for the past eight years has led in-school presentations in numerous high schools for the National YoungArts Foundation, is the co-founder of Piano Slam, and led various workshops for local art organizations like Miami Light Project and Institute of Contemporary Art Miami. Most recently and for the seventh year in a row, she was invited by the Arsht Center and Ailey Arts & Education Foundation to serve as the Creative Communication instructor for Ailey Camp Miami.

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