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Frank Baez might be described as the homegrown Junot Diaz of the Dominican literary scene: a native author rather than a son of the diaspora, but with the same “hip” originality and “with-it” verve. Born in 1978 in Santo Domingo, Baez has made a name for himself in his own country as the Dominican Republic’s most important young poet and short-story writer. His collection of stories, Págales tú a los psicoanalistas [For the Psychoanalysts, You Pick Up the Tab!] (Editorial Ferilibro, Santo Domingo, 2007) won the First Prize for Short Stories at the Santo Domingo Book Fair of 2006. With his fellow poet Homero Pumarol, he founded a “spoken word band” called El Hombrecito, which in 2009 cut a CD called Llegó el hombrecito [The Hombrecito Has Arrived]. He regularly gives readings accompanied by music, and is an amateur DJ.
The quality of Frank Baez’s work has already won him an international following as well. His first book, Jarrón y otros poemas, was published in Madrid by Editorial Betania in 2004, and selections from his verse recently appeared in the Latin American anthology Cuerpo plural: Antología de la poesía hispanoamericana contemporánea (Editorial Pre Textos, 2010). His latest poetry collection, Postales, won the National Poetry Prize Salomé Ureña in 2009 as a manuscript, and was published in Costa Rica and Argentina even before it appeared in the Dominican Republic. As editor of the online poetry review Ping Pong, he has published scores of poets from Latin America, North America, and Europe. Highly conversant with the literatures of all three continents, he is a distinguished translator of English and American verse.