Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]
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Overview and metadata sections
Margaret Randall is a feminist poet, writer, photographer, and social activist.
She was born in New York City on December 6, 1936. She emigrated to Mexico in 1961 and married Mexican poet Sergio Mondragón. In 1962, Randall and Mondragón co-founded El Corno Emplumado ( The Plumed Horn), a bilingual literary journal that translated and published mainly avant-garde and "Beat Generation" works by authors from Mexico, other parts of Latin America, and the United States. The journal published works by Ernesto Cardenal, Claudio Bertonio, Alan Trachtenberg, Anselm Hollo, Homero Aridjis, Cecilia Vicuna, Nicanor Parra, Gonzalo Rojas, Enrique Lihn, Jorge Teillier, Waldo Rojas, Alejandra Pizarnik, Raquel Jodorowsky, and featured artwork from David Alfaro Siqueiros, Leonora Carrington, Juan Soriano, Rini Templeton, and Elaine de Kooning. El Corno Emplumado also published approximately 20 books of poetry. Issue #28 was released in October 1968 in the midst of the Tlatelolco Massacre, a violent military attack against university students that left hundreds dead. The editorial's defense of the student protests resulted in the loss of subsidized government funding and the journal was forced to close after the publication of issue #31 in 1969.
Randall relocated to Cuba from 1969 to 1980, and then to Nicaragua from 1980 to 1984. During this time, Randall focused her poetry and writing on feminism and women's issues in socialist and revolutionary society. She published several anthologies, collections of poetry and oral histories including Carlota: Prose & Poems from Havana (1978), Sandino's Daughters: Testimonies of Nicaraguan Women in Struggle (1981), Breaking the Silences: An Anthology of 20th-Century Poetry by Cuban Women (1982), A Poetry of Resistance: Selected Poems and Prose from Central America (1984).
In 1984, she attempted to immigrate back to the United States, but was met with deportation when the government invoked the 1952 McCarran-Walter Immigration and Nationality Act. Under the act, the government claimed Randall's opinions and ideology expressed in several of her books were "against the good order and happiness of the United States." Randall's struggle to reinstate her citizenship became a five year battle. She won a Board of Immigration Appeals case in 1989 ordering the INS to grant her adjustment of status to permanent residence. In 1990 she was awarded the Lillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett grant for writers victimized by political repression; and in 2004 she was the first recipient of PEN New Mexico's Dorothy Doyle Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing and Human Rights Activism.
From 1984 through 1994 she taught at a number of universities including Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, the University of New Mexico, Macalester College, and the University of Delaware. She continues to publish poetry and writes extensively on the subjects of feminism, the Cuban Revolution, and the Sandinista Revolution. Among her publications include Walking to the Edge: Essays of Resistance (1991), Gathering Rage (1992), Something's Wrong with the Cornfields (2011), Che on My Mind (2013), Haydée Santamaría, Cuban Revolutionary (2015), and Exporting Revolution: Cuba's Global Solidarity (2017), among others.
She married artist Barbara Byers in 2013, and currently lives in Albuquerque.
Includes an assembled collection of Margaret Randall materials purchased by Princeton University Library from varying sources that may include dealers or collectors. Materials include typewritten and printed materials pertaining to Randall's writings and correspondence with British dramatist Arnold Wesker. These materials supplement the Selected Correspondence of Margaret Randall collection which were acquired from Randall in 1999.
Purchase, 2017 (AM 2018-21).
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This collection was processed by Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez in September 2017. Finding aid written by Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez in September 2017.
No materials were separated during the 2017 processing.
- Manuscripts Division
- Finding Aid Author
- Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez
- Finding Aid Date
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