‘Memories of Afghanistan’, poems that speak of human quality in a distant land

The third book of poems by the writer José Báez Guerrero, entitled ‘Memories of Afghanistan’, is in circulation after a virtual presentation at the rock ‘El Despertar’ held last December in Santo Domingo.

The work contains 41 poems and is prefaced by the Scottish philosopher and scientist Íñigo Montoya, who believes that “this new collection of poems that José Báez Guerrero gives us is an invitation to cultivate thought.” The book, printed by Editora Búho for the Arte Tuto publishing house, also includes a conclusion entitled ‘Coordinates and Locations’, with “five epilogical neo poems in prose with images and a translation by Whitman”. It has 106 pages and is available at Librería Cuesta. The prologue expresses: “This new work by José Báez Guerrero shows us an author dazzled by all the possibilities of the word. His audacity to baptize these verses referring to a distant and unknown land, is perhaps a reminder of how all cultures have links affirmed by a certain essential human quality that speech, customs and traditions, philosophy and politics can barely disguise ” . ‘The solemn vocation of speech and writing in the fixation of culture’ –as Montoya– “sometimes makes us forget one of its most useful and necessary forms: play, which we undertake as an end in itself only because we provides pleasure, emotional, aesthetic and spiritual. Playing with letters and words… Words, too, like numbers in mathematical language, like thinking toys! ”. ‘Memories of Afghanistan’ is divided into four sections or notebooks, entitled ‘Explanations’, ‘Courtesies of Edo’, ‘Playful Empire’ and ‘Logbook’. Other literary works by Báez Guerrero are his novel ‘Ceroles’ (1996, of which Montoya is the protagonist), the stories ‘Siete Gotas de Arena’ (2007), ‘Cartas de un Borrasho’ (2013, with a foreword by José Mármol) and ‘The Cure of Desire’ (2015).


Eladio Vigil, Manuel Borrel, Bernardo Pichardo Boyrie, José Luis de Ramón, José Rafael Lomba, Eddy de Peña, Vicente Tapounet Brugal attended the presentation, which the author indicated in person, was held privately due to the COVID-19 pandemic. and the prologue Montoya, members of the rock ‘El Despertar’. José Báez Guerrero (Ciudad Trujillo, 1958) is a lawyer, journalist and author of about twenty books in the genres of essays, history, novels, short stories and poetry. His biography ‘Buenaventura Báez’ was the book of the year and was awarded the FIL-León Jimenes Prize in 2015. Another biography, “Guzmán, his life, government and suicide” was awarded the National History Prize in 2009. At the beginning of the ’70s last century received one of the Royal Bank of Canada short story competition prizes. He was director and professor at the School of Journalism at the Universidad Católica Santo Domingo and a founding member of the academic council. For almost three decades he has written a daily column in the Santo Domingo press and occasionally for the most important newspapers in the United States. He has been married since 1985, with two children and three grandchildren.