Between Dissidence and Good Neighbor Diplomacy: Reading Julia de Burgos with the FBI

October 2014
Centro Journal;Fall2014, Vol. 26 Issue 2, p98
Academic Journal
Little is known about Julia de Burgos's six months as an audit clerk at the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs in Washington, D.C. (1944-1945). This article recounts this interlude in Burgos's career by focusing on her FBI file and the Hatch Act investigation that led to her termination as a federal employee. Reading the FBI file in the vein of literary criticism, the article shows how bureau ghost translators characterized Burgos's political poems as works of dissident Nationalism. In so far as Burgos's poems navigate the competing ideologies of Puerto Rican Nationalism and Good Neighbor diplomacy, the article links them to a hemispheric matrix of writing--by Elizabeth Bishop, Pablo Neruda, Luis Palés Matos, Samuel Putnam and William Carlos Williams, among others--in which Puerto Rican decolonial politics intersect international communism and anticommunism.


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