Susana Álvarez

Susana Álvarez, born Martha Susana Álvarez Galarza (Ambato, 1949) is an Ecuadorian writer, poet, educator, and cultural activist. Throughout her career, she has made significant contributions to literature, particularly in the field of poetry and cultural preservation. Some of her notable poetry books include “Memorial de los días,” “Celosía del Alba,” and “Fiorella de Agua.” In addition to poetry, she has written essays such as “Ellos son y Están aquí…. Encuentros” and “Mujeres bajo el cielo de Loja. La investidura de La Mujer del Siglo XXI.” Álvarez’ dedication to preserving Ecuadorian cultural heritage is evident in her books “Antología de la leyenda ecuatoriana” and “Loja y sus leyendas,” which delve into the country’s rich folklore and legends. Recognized for her literary achievements, she has received prestigious awards, including the “Juan León Mera” decoration and the Illustrious Ecuadorian Woman Award in 2015. Recently, she received the prestigious “Matilde Hidalgo Navarro” decoration at the 2023 Women’s Art Encounter. This recognition, bestowed by the House of Ecuadorian Culture in Loja, acknowledges her outstanding cultural contributions in both Loja and Ecuador.

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Julia Rendón Abrahamson

Julia Rendón Abrahamson (Quito, 1978) is an Ecuadorian writer. She has authored the novel “Lengua ajena” (2022), which explores profound themes of identity and belonging. In addition to her novel, Rendón Abrahamson has released two collections of short stories, including “Yeguas y terneros” (2021) and “La casa está muy grande” (2015). Her remarkable talent has garnered recognition, including being awarded the Montserrat Roig Grant for Literary Creation in 2021 by the City Hall of Barcelona, as part of UNESCO’s City of Literature program. Rendón Abrahamson’s educational background is just as impressive, with degrees from renowned institutions such as Boston College, Parsons School of Design, the National University of the Arts in Argentina, and the Argentine institute Casa de Letras. She also teaches creative writing workshops and founded Espacio Cultural PezPlátano in Quito.

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Melanie Márquez Adams

Melanie Márquez Adams (Guayaquil, May 5, 1976) is an Ecuadorian American writer, editor, and translator. Among her published books are “Mariposas negras” (2017), a collection of stories, and “Querencia” (2020), an exploration of identity and finding one’s sense of belonging in a foreign land. As an editor, Márquez Adams has curated anthologies such as “Del sur al norte: Narrativa y poesía de autores andinos” (2016), which showcases the narratives and poetry of Andean authors, and “Ellas cuentan: Antología de Crime Fiction por latinoamericanas en EEUU” (2019), highlighting the crime fiction works by Latin American women in the United States. Márquez Adams has received accolades such as the Latino Book Award for her exceptional work as an editor. Her latest work, “Imaginar países” (2021), was a finalist for the 2022 Premio Paz de Poesía (Paz Poetry Prize).

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Paco Benavides

Paco Benavides, born Javier Palmiro Benavides (San Gabriel, Carchi province, December 4, 1964 – Bern, Switzerland, June 24, 2003), was an Ecuadorian writer, poet, painter, and sociologist. He was a founding member of the Matapiojo writing workshop, which aimed to socialize the means of literary production. His notable work, “Historia natural del fuego” [Natural History of Fire], garnered recognition in 1990. His other poetry books include “Viento Sur” (1995), and “Tierra Adentro” (1995). After relocating to Bern, Switzerland, with his wife, he continued his literary and artistic pursuits. His passing on June 24, 2005, in Bern saw his remains transferred to Quito, Ecuador, leaving behind a wealth of unpublished writings, paintings, and installations. His last known work, “X, (vida y milagros” was published posthumously in 2021.

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Diego Maenza

Diego Maenza (Los Ríos, 1987) is an Ecuadorian writer. He is known for his works in poetry, fiction, and novels, which have been translated into several languages. In 2018, Maenza published “Caricreaturas,” a work that combines short stories and poetry. It was a finalist in the call for applications from the Ministry of Culture of Ecuador. The book was later translated into Italian by Alessandro Elias Ghetti and into English by Gastón Jofre Torres. Also in 2018, the National Headquarters of the House of Ecuadorian Culture published Maenza’s novel “Estructura de la plegaria” (Structure of Prayer). This work tackles sensitive topics such as pedophilia and abortion within the context of the intimate lives of Catholic clergy. The novel has been translated into Italian, English, French, Portuguese, German, and Russian. In 2019, Maenza released his poetry collection “Bestiario americano” (American Bestiary), which poetically condenses urban legends and myths from across the Americas. His second novel, “Todas las cartas de amor son ridículas” (All Love Letters Are Ridiculous), was published in 2020. It is a parody of romance novels written in an epistolary format and deals with themes of sexual violence.

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Pedro Reino

Pedro Reino Garcés (Cevallos, February 9, 1951) is an Ecuadorian writer, historian, and journalist. He has published numerous works on the history of the Tungurahua Province and serves as the official chronicler of Ambato. Reino has written in various genres including poetry, short stories, novels, and essays. He has received recognition and awards for his literary contributions, and his books have been translated into languages such as Japanese, Korean, Serbian, and German and published internationally. Reino’s works delve into historical and cultural aspects of his region and reflect his passion for storytelling and preserving local heritage. He is a member of the Ecuadorian House of Culture, Tungurahua Branch. Since 2014, he has been a member of the National Academy of History.

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Esteban Michelena

Esteban Michelena Ayala (Quito, 1963) is an Ecuadorian novelist, writer, and journalist. He is perhaps best known for his trilogy of novels, which includes “Atacames Tonic” (2002), “No more tears” (2018), and the critically acclaimed “El pasado no perdona” (2022) which embodies a genre defined by the author as “tragic realism.” Additionally, through his nonfiction writings, Michelena explores the realities of his country, addressing topics such as political corruption, social inequality, and the struggles faced by marginalized communities. As a journalist, Michelena has been honored with 12 national awards and recognitions, including the “Jorge Mantilla Ortega” award by the newspaper El Comercio on three occasions.

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