Gustavo Adolfo Aybar

Stealing Home


Dominican poet Gustavo Adolfo Aybar was raised in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami Beach. A Cave Canem fellow, and vice-president of the Latino Writers Collective; his publications include: Primera Pagina, Black Magnolias, Oranges & Sardines.  Gustavo's CV 

Project Description

Using baseball as a major focal point, Stealing Home discusses my Dominican heritage, its culture, food, language, my family, and the loss of them all. In discussing the social role, which the business of the sport has failed to undertake, my goal is to present the unethical behavior of the scouts, the rampant use of performance enhancing drugs, identity fraud, and how together they shaped or misshaped the island's economy. The manuscript examines other themes, combining my personal memoir, to question the motives of the financial institution known as Major League Baseball. This will generate a creative literary text with a social responsibility.  

To guarantee success, I want  to spend a 2-week stay in New York researching at CUNY's Dominican Studies Institute, viewing their film, video, and audio archives; studying El Museo del Barrio's permanent Taino collection; visiting and networking with the Alliance of Dominican American Visual Artists; and going to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. I also plan on having two readings and youth workshops in New York, and many others in the local Kansas City area. Simply stated, my aim is to travel, study, learn, create, share, educate, and empower. 

How does this project fit into Gustavo's larger body of work?

My lifelong personal goal remains to better educate myself as to the history and the complexities of what it means to be from the Dominican Republic. Both my BA and MA degrees resulted out of this strong desire to gain more knowledge about the European (Spanish), African, and Taino bloodlines that make up Dominicans. With baseball being such an essential part of the island, its economy, and overall way of life, I believe that shedding more light on the issues plaguing Major League Baseball today, that the book would serve as a way to stay socially engaged and hope to inspire change in the communities I serve and represent.

What kind of impact will this project have?

I believe my project has an international social impact that documents--in a new, poetic way--the lives of the young boys and men, who sacrifice so much for the chance at becoming and remaining Major League ball players. It will highlight the ways that have been utilized to deceive Major League Baseball and the steps the business has taken to overcome those challenges, though their actions infringe human rights and abuse civil liberties.

How will this project act as a catalyst for Gustavo's artistic and professional growth?

I believe the project will aid me in establishing myself more firmly on a national level and begin to develop a reputation internationally as well. Being able to interact with organizations that are Latino centric and that strongly support education, and in the arts will help me in spreading the word about the issues prevaling Major League Baseball, but also to complete the manuscript that will become my first published book, which is an asset to obtaining a creative writing teaching position at any college or university. The collection will also make it possible for me to secure more paid readings, workshops, and expand my network all around.

Morir Sonando. Digital Story. Present Magazine. Dec. 2010.

A multimedia presentation of a poem using photographs and music from local artists, plus the imovie video editing software to take it off the page. The poem is about a typical dessert beverage made in most Latin countries, and how my uncle celebrated the making of that drink with all of the kids in the house. This piece touches on the themes of fatherhood, and motherland.

Wallflower Mambo. Performance. Shane Evan's Dream Studio. May 2008.

The poem delves into some island history: its wars of independence; its cultural fusion which entails the Spanish, African, and the indigenous Taino culture; and its religious make up. However, it mainly discusses the stereotype of the culture of breeding expert dancers and how I challenge traditions by not knowing how to dance.