Glass Moon Over Images of Sand
Edel Romay





Edel Romay was born in  San Andrés Tuxtla, Veracruz, Mexico on May 1, 1939. Even as a child demonstrated a great inclination to draw and write. No wall of his house evaded his designs, and on any blank piece of paper he would write poetry or short stories. His love for
good literature bloomed due perhaps in great measure, to the library of his ancestors that seduced
him into that pleasant pastime.


In elementary school, under the keen leadership of Professor  Patricio Redondo Moreno, an exiled Spanish Republican, he was exposed to the  Celestine Freinet pedagogical method that stimulated children’s spontaneity and freedom of expression by employing a literal “printing press in the schools”: The children designed and created their own books using tools similar to a “real” press. Obviously the Freinet School had a definite impact on Romay’s artistic sensitivity.



In the  city of Xalapa, known as the Athens of Veracruz, Romay decided to pursue the field of education and studied in the Enríquez C. Rebsamen’s Teacher’s College.  At the same time, he also continued his studies at the  Veracruzana University where his interests included architecture, art, philosophy and mathematics. His restless spirit, coupled with an avid intelligence and a character hungry for experimentation, led him to connect with people of discriminating artistic and intellectual sensitivity.


In the School of Architecture, Romay maintained close contact with architect Irwin Luckman, a visiting scholar from the United States, who postulated that “architecture should be intentional, functional organic space.” Romay agreed. Later in the United States, they continued a mutual friendship that reached its maximum expression when Luckman served as best man at Romay’s wedding.  Luckman eventually recommended Romay for admission to The School of Environmental Design at the University of California Berkeley.



While still in Xalapa, Romay sought opportunities to mix with writers of profound imagination and subtle narratives such as  Sergio Galindo, then Director of the Veracruzana University’s Publishing Department and the magazine, La Palabra y el Hombre. Romay also knew playwright  Emilio Carballido who was a professor in the College of Letters and Philosophy. Romay was also able to interact with the painter  Mario Orozco Rivera who at the time was designing the murals for the Government Palace. Romay also related to the acute artistic and intellectual sensitivity of theater director Jorge Godoy who was directing Hamlet on the stage of the Xallitic Bridge. Later in Mexico City, Godoy invited Romay to stay at his house when he was on his way to the United States.



In 1965, Romay married Leni Schlesinger, a medical student at the University of California Berkeley. In 1966 his beloved son Ilya was born and Romay established residence in Berkeley. As a student at the University of California from 1968 to 1969, Romay actively participated as a leader of the Third World Strike This student movement basically offered a third option to the Capitalist World and the Communist World, that in those days were dueling for world domination. Humanity was suffering the effects of the Cold War, and the youth of the sixties lived with the anxiety of an eminent possible thermonuclear war between those two powers. With the passage of time, the hierarchy of power associated the Third World with the marginalized, including individuals, countries and continents.  Up to the present Romay has been highly critical of this trivialization when he argues, “In 1991 Communism fell and the Soviet Union disintegrated. Years later, approximately around 2007, Capitalism suffered an alarming economic global tsunami. In retrospect, the students of 1968 seem prophetic with their concept
of the “Third World.”



In 1970, Romay married Argentine psychologist Marta Gloria Calvet, counselor and instructor at Diablo Valley College. From 1972 to 1974 he contributed to  El Grito: A Journal of Contemporary Mexican-American Thought, as a graphic designer and assessor. Romay also designed and executed the production of a mural in Fresno, California for the Universidad de Campesinos Libres. Then together with the Chicano painter Malaquías Montoya, Romay produced a mural at the Legal Services Center in San José, California. In 1975, Romay and Doctor Herminio Ríos establish a publishing house called Justa Publications Inc., in Berkeley, California dedicated to promote works by Chicano writers unknown in the U.S. intellectual mainstream.



In 1976, Romay began working in the Oakland Unified School District as a dedicated teacher for quality Bilingual Education.


In 1988 Romay married Ana Martin Guibert, who holds a degree in Film Studies and Spanish Literature and is a counselor for the International and Area Studies Academic Programs at the University of California Berkeley. From 1990 to 1991, Romay worked as associate scientist at the  Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory at the University of California, developing curriculum materials for the Greenhouse Effect and Global Climate Change project. The objective of the project was to raise consciousness among youth about carbon dioxide
(CO2), and other contaminating gasses and alert them to the threatened depredation of the planet. In fact, not only are human's victims of sudden climate change, but so are the flora and fauna.


In 2003, Doctor Edel Romay participated as lead instructor at the Instituto de Literatura en Español organized by the The Literature Project of California that offered a program incorporating Critical Pedagogy with literature designed to create a community of leaders in California to help face the challenge of educating a linguistically and ethnically diverse student population.


Retired from teaching since 2003, Edel now dedicates himself completely to the arts and writing —his friends and lovers— that inspire him.