Aleida Rodríguez is a poet, essayist, and translator. Her debut collection, Garden of Exile (1999), was chosen by Marilyn Hacker to receive the Kathryn A. Morton Poetry Prize. Rodríguez's upbringing in Güines, near Havana, Cuba, informs her poems—they are often imbued with lingual tension and the grief of displacement, but they also celebrate the natural beauty of both Cuban and U.S. American environments. She has been awarded fellowships from the NEA and the California Arts Council. Rodríguez currently lives in Los Angeles.