Juan Carlos Flores was born in Havana in 1962. For decades he has lived in Alamar, a community in eastern Havana said to be the largest housing project in the world. Writing as an outsider without university degrees or a job in the Cuban culture industry, Flores is a well-known participant in the cosmopolitan literary culture of Havana. He is also a foundational figure in the experimental poetry and performance activities that emerged in recent decades in Alamar.
Characterized by their often painterly minimalism and flexible uses of repetition, his poems are routinely selected for anthologies of the best contemporary Cuban poetry. In 1990 Flores won the David Prize for his first book of poems, Los pájaros escritos. His collection Distintos Modos de Cavar un Túnel, the opening of a trilogy he has dedicated to “the poetical resurrection of Alamar,” won the 2002 Julián del Casals prize awarded by Cuba’s national union of artists and writers.