Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo - IWP Fellow 2014-15
Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo is a Cuban fiction writer, blogger and photojournalist. Author of five books of fiction, columnist for Diario de Cuba (Madrid), El Nacional (Caracas) and Sampsonia Way Magazine, he is webmaster of the photoblog Boring Home Utopics (vocescubanas.com/boringhomeutopics) and the opinion blog Lunes de Post-Revolución (available in English atorlandolunes.wordpress.com). He also edited the Cuban independent digital magazines Cacharro(s), The Revolution Evening Post, andVoces. Born in Havana in 1971, he graduated as a molecular biologist from Havana University and the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in 1994.
Pardo Lazo came into conflict with the Cuban government in 2009 when he attempted to publish his short story collection, Boring Home, which was censored by the Letras Cubanas publishing house. Since the book’s publication by Garamond (Prague) and El Nacional (Caracas), he has not been permitted to publish, study, or work in Cuba. He was arrested on three occasions, harassed, and prevented from leaving the island by Castro’s secret police. Finally allowed to leave Cuba following the advent of migratory reforms launched by the government of Raul Castro, he entered the U.S., where he was a guest writer of the City of Asylum Project site in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Pardo Lazo has continued his literary and political activities since his arrival in the U.S. In 2014, O/R Books, New York, publishedCuba In Splinters, an anthology of Cuban stories edited by Pardo Lazo. In October 2014, Restless Books will publish his digital photobook,Abandoned Havana, “a collection of surreal, irony-laden photos and texts” about the city’s scaffolded and crumbling facades, ramshackle waterfronts, and teeming human bodies.
He will be in residence at Brown University through February, 2015.