The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano
Born into the household of a wealthy slave owner in Cuba in 1797, Juan Francisco Manzano spent his early years by the side of a woman who made him call her Mama, even though he had a mama of his own. Denied an education, young Juan still showed an exceptional talent for poetry. His verses reflect ...more
Born into slave ...more
Margarita Engle brings Juan's early years to life with her trademark lyrical prose, an elegy to the poet slave Juan Francisco Manzano.
Juan Francisco Manzano was born into the household of a wealthy slave-owner in Cuba in 1797.
We know details about the early years of his life thanks to a collection of his auto ...more
This was a biography told in verse about the poet Juan Francisco Manzano who was a Cuban poet and slave. Engle had done a lot of research into this poet and took is upon herself to educate the world about this man. About the way he was treated by colonialism.
Juan constantly, throughout the book, refers to his body not being his. The body that his soul inhabits is not his. It belongs to his mistress. He is at h ...more
If you’re afraid of trying a book ...more
It's a very poignant biography of Juan Francisco Manzano, a slave who has a gift with words & a good memory. Tho it is titled as a biography, it's only consist of probably half his life and the rest was told in the historical note in the end of the book.
The poems by the author are really compelling in telling the story of the cruelty of Manzano's second master. Here I quote:
somehow she imagines...more
that his dark thoughts
when really it is exactly
She is the one
with a mind
This book focuses on a slave named Juan Francisco Manzano of Cuba who grew up to become a writer and poet. He was a gifted child and could recite anything and everything he heard. His owner took care of him and upon ...more
-The Poet Slave of Cuba is a lyrical biography of an escaped Cuban slave who went on to become a renowned poet. Juan Francisco Manzano was born a Cuban slave. Although denied an education, Manzano had a knack for poetry. His poetry reflected the beauty of the world around him, while also depicting the dark, haunting life of being a slave.
• Pura Belpre Award
• Grade level, interest level, Lexile
• Appropriate classroom use (subject area)
-Teach about multicultural slavery. S ...more
This 2008 Pura Belpre Medal winner is the biography of Juan Francisco Manzano, a Cuban slave. The perspective of the poetic narrative shifts between Juan and the other characters in the book. His first wealthy owner, Doña Beatriz describes Juan as being “much cleaner than poodles and parrots or the Persian cats that are always shedding their fur on my pillows…” (p. 13). Denied an education, Juan has a talent fo ...more
AMERICAS AWARD (2006)
Format: Book, Free Verse Poem, Biography
Age level: Early high school
The Poet Slave of Cuba is a biography of Juan Francisco Manazano. Juan was born in 1797, a slave to a wealthy landowner. His first master died shen he was 11 yeard old. Although Juan had been promised his freedom, he was sent to a new master, la Marchesa de Prado Ameno.
La Marchesa was said to be crazy and was exceptionally cruel. Juan suffered many horrible punishments at he ...more
Audio read by Cabreri, Nunez, Rodriguez, and Santana
A biography of Juan Francisco Manzano, The Poet Slave of Cuba is a testament to the power of artistic expression and how it can transcend evil. The novel pieces together the story of the poet born into slavery in 1797. He possessed the great talent of being able to recall and perform every poem he heard, and even though he was denied education, he learned how to write poetry in an invented language, paint, make pastries, and sew. He ...more
Unfortunately, this felt more like a book about the horrors of slavery than a book about the poet referenced in the title. Readers only get a glimpse of Manzano's poetry in a postscript th ...more
This would be a great story to read with high school students. It reminded me of "Day of Tears" by Julius ...more
I liked the afterword--bio info, historical notes--more than the actual poetry, but I definitely appreciate what the author was trying to do. Learned about a specific time period in Cuban history that I had not learned anything about while actually in Cuba, so that added even more questions to my long list.
This was about a poet and a person I knew nothing of, during a time I don’t think much of, and in a country I know very little history about.
Such a wonderful, informative way to express the history of poetry in the Caribbean. Another thing I didn’t know about until reading this book.