Wartime Poetry and the Limits of the Good Neighbor
This chapter introduces the unlikely roles poets played at the center of hemispheric cultural diplomacy initiatives in 1938–1945, the years when Good Neighbor diplomacy was motivated by a broad antifascist coalition. The chapter discusses major diplomat-poets like William Carlos Williams, Pablo Neruda, Archibald MacLeish, and Langston Hughes, and compares these writers to Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos, Ecuadorian Consul General Jorge Carrera Andrade, soldier-poet Lysander Kemp, and others who coalesced around the anthologies, translations, and congresses of Good Neighbor initiatives. Borrowing metaphors of bridging and broadcasting from new infrastructures of hemispheric modernization, and invoking strategies of apostrophic address to an impossibly large hemispheric public, Good Neighbor poetry promoted Popular Front antifascism, but also enabled advocates of decolonial politics, racial democracy, and international feminism.
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