Upisode 45: Poet, playwright and Seattle Latino Film Festival Founder & CEO Jorge Enrique Gonzalez Pacheco swings by the bookstore and chats with Ian about his early artistic life in Cuba, where he incurred severe government side-eye with his hagiography to the pre-revolution days, and how his poetry stemmed from an inability to related to his widowed father. He talks about his migration to Miami, via Mexico, and the random string of events that led him not only to Seattle but to organizing a major cultural event in the city, now a decade old.
About Jorge Enrique Gonzalez Pacheco
Jorge Enrique González Pacheco is a Cuban poet, film industry professional, and cultural entrepreneur. He was born in Marianao, Havana; his mother died when he was very young, and he has noted his turbulent relationship with his father in interviews and press. After leaving Cuba permanently at 33 and a brief stint in Mexico, he moved to Miami, Florida in 2003, and since 2006 he has been living in Seattle.
He published his first poem in Alaluz, a literary magazine of the University of California, Riverside. He has published five books, including Bajo la Luz de mi Sangre [Under the Light of My Blood]. In Cuba, he received the Delia Carrera Poetry Prize, a national award, in 1996. He has read his poetry in the United States and many other countries, including Spain. In 1990 integrated a group of young poets participating in a Cuban literary revolution that distanced itself from political themes and created a clearer and more universal lyric. As a self-described freedom defender, he nonetheless frequently criticized the civil liberties violations of the Castro regime.
One of his well-known poems, “Havana” is dedicated to his childhood city.
González Pacheco is the founder and CEO of the Seattle Latino Film Festival, whose mission is to “present the most outstanding Ibero-American films available and to help them reach international success.” The festival, about to start its 11th year, is held every October.