Museum of New Mexico Media Center Press Release

NHCC welcomes novelist and scholar Robert Arellano for a special presentation on Cuban-American culture

National Hispanic Cultural Center

July 05, 2022


Albuquerque, NM - On July 28, the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) is pleased to welcome Robert Arellano for a unique presentation on the lives of Cuban immigrants living in America. 

“With the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis fast approaching, it’s more important than ever to understand the Cuban-American experience,” said Dr. Margie Huerta, Executive Director of the NHCC. “Robert Arellano’s presentation, featuring stories, photographs, and a healthy dose of Latin jazz, offers listeners a chance to learn more about la vida cubana-americana.” 

Arellano’s free presentation, titled Secrets, Spies, and Spanish Rice: Six Decades of the Cuban-American Experience, will begin at 6 p.m. with a reception followed by his presentation at 7 p.m. in the Salón Ortega. The presentation will cover 60 years of Cuban- American history in 60 minutes, from the Cuban Missile Crisis to today. For many Cubans who fled their country during the Cuban Revolution, the crisis was a point of no return, forcing them to make the most of their new home.  

During his presentation, Arellano, an award-winning Cuban-American novelist and scholar, will present never-before-seen material alongside readings from Havana Lunar and Havana Libre, a pair of books from his award-winning Cuban Noir series. 

In addition to Arellano’s Cuban Noir series, which has received starred reviews from Booklist and CrimeReads and has been shortlisted for the Edgar Allan Poe Prize, Arellano has written short fiction for collections like the recent Let’s Hear Their Voices: Cuban American Writers of the Second Generation (State University of New York Press). He has also written poems for the forthcoming first edition of the New Mexico Poetry Anthology (Museum of New Mexico Press), and five additional novels including Curse the Names: a New Mexico Noir. Arellano lives in the Rogue Valley in southern Oregon. 

Arellano will be introduced at the NHCC by poet Levi Romero, who became the inaugural New Mexico Poet Laureate in 2020. A bilingual poet whose language is immersed in the regional manito dialect of northern New Mexico, Romero is the co-author of Sagrado: A Photopoetics Across the Chicano Homeland (2013), and author of A Poetry of Remembrance: New and Rejected Works (2008), In the Gathering of Silence (1996), and other publications. His work has been published throughout the U.S., Mexico, Spain, and Cuba. 

The presentation is part of NHCC’s brand-new historia, idioma, e identidad Series, featuring up-and-coming Hispanic and Latine writers from across the country. Events in the series are free, though space is limited. Register for the event and check for more information on upcoming writers at! 

The National Hispanic Cultural Center is dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and advancement of Hispanic culture, arts, and humanities. The NHCC presents mission-related events throughout the year, some produced by its history, literary, performing, and visual arts programs, and others by partnering with external organizations. Events take place at its 20-plus-acre campus, which includes a plaza, an art museum, a historically designated building, a library, and a genealogy center. The NHCC is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs and is further supported by the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation. 

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