Aleida Rodríguez's debut book of poems, Garden of Exile, was awarded the 1998 Kathryn A. Morton Prize by Marilyn Hacker, then later won the PEN Center USA West 2000 Literary Award. In November 2000, Garden of Exile was also named to the "Tops of 2000" books list by the San Francisco Chronicle. She is also the recipient of an NEA fellowship, and her work has been published widely since 1974. In October 2000, she gave two readings and moderated a panel based on her "Glass Cage" essay at the Vancouver International Writers Festival. In November, she read her work at the Miami Book Fair International.
A brief commentary/reading on the resonances between her native country of Cuba and Cuba, Missouri (the demographic center of the U.S.), aired on the public radio show "Marketplace" on December 8, 2000, and is now archived in RealAudio at www.marketplace.org. In February 2001, Aleida read in the "World of Nature in Literature" series at Wave Hill in the Bronx. In March 2001, she embarked on a small Poets & Writers-sponsored book tour of Northern California, including the famed Lunch Poems series at UC Berkeley, the Robinson Jeffers Tor House in Carmel, and the Sacramento Poetry Center.
In addition to having just completed a prose manuscript (Desire Lines, which title comes from the landscape design term for the worn footpaths strollers make when they veer off the formal paths), she has a poem forthcoming in Another City (a City Lights anthology of Southern California poets and writers), as well as in the April 2001 issue of Poetry Wales. In June 2001, a couple of her small personal essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She lives in Los Angeles, where she works freelance as an editor/translator and teaches the occasional workshop.