Margaret Randall (New York, 1936) is a poet, essayist, oral historian, translator, photographer and social activist. She lived in Latin America for 23 years (in Mexico, Cuba, and Nicaragua). From 1962 to 1969, she and Mexican poet Sergio Mondragón co-edited “El Corno Emplumado / The Plumed Horn,” a bilingual literary quarterly that published some of the best new literature and art of the 1960s.
When she came home in 1984, the government ordered her deported because it found some of her writing to be “against the good order and happiness of the United States.” With the support of many writers and others, she won her case in 1989. Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, she taught at several universities, most often Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.
Randall’s most recent poetry titles include “As If The Empty Chair / Como Si La Silla Vacia,” “The Rhizome As A Field of Broken Bones,” “About Little Charlie Lindbergh,” “She Becomes Time,” and “The Morning After: Poetry & Prose In A Post-Truth World” (all from Wings Press). “Che On My Mind” (a feminist poet’s reminiscence of Che Guevara, published by Duke University Press), and “More Than Things” (essays, from The University of Nebraska Press) are other recent titles. “Haydee Santamaria,” “Cuban Revolutionary: She Led By Transgression” was released by Duke in 2015. “Exporting Revolution: Cuba’s Global Solidarity” was published by Duke in 2017. “Time's Language: Selected Poemas 1959-2018” came out from Wings in the fall of 2018; it covers 60 years of her poetry.
Two of Randall’s photographs are in the Capitol Art Collection in Santa Fe.
She has also devoted herself to translation, producing “When Rains Become Floods” by Lurgio Galván Sánchez and “Only The Road / Solo El Camino,” an anthology of eight decades of Cuban poetry (both also published by Duke). Red Mountain Press in Santa Fe and The Operating System in Brooklyn have brought out her translations of individual Cuban poets. Randall received the 2017 Medalla al Mérito Literario, awarded by Literatura en el Bravo in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.
Recent honors received by Randall include the "Poet of Two Hemispheres" prize, given by Poesía en Paralelo Cero, Quito, Ecuador, in April of 2019 and the Haydée Santamaría Medal, given by Casa de las Américas, Cuba, in May 2019.
Randall's web page is www.margaretrandall.org. She lives in Albuquerque with her partner (now wife) of more than 32 years, the painter Barbara Byers, and travels extensively to read, lecture and teach.