David Ledesma Vásquez 

David Ledesma Vásquez (Guayaquil, December 17, 1934 – March 30, 1961) was an Ecuadorian poet and theater actor. Although his work went unnoticed for several years after his death, it eventually acquired a cult following. He belonged to Club 7, a group of Ecuadorian poets from the 1950s. He committed suicide by hanging in 1961. He left behind several unpublished works, including one ironically titled “La risa del ahorcado” [The Hanged Man’s Laugh]. Ileana Espinel Cedeño, a fellow Club 7 member, oversaw the posthumous publication of his poetry collection “Cuaderno de Orfeo” in 1962.

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Walter Franco Serrano

Walter Franco Serrano (Quito, 1932 – 2021) was a poet, novelist, and theater teacher. From 1954 to 1957, he cofounded the Quito Chamber Theater with professor Carlos Lowenberg, the Independent Theater with Francisco Tobar, and the puppet theater, casa de la Fantasia [Fantasy House]. He was a member of the Umbral Group, a literary group formed in Quito in 1952 by notable Ecuadorian writers of the time. He joined the Society of Friends of the Theater in 1955, where he taught oral expression. In 1967, he was Ecuador’s delegate to the First Latin America Theater Congress in Mexico. He lectured at the House of Ecuadorian Culture’s Theater Seminar between 1975-1976. His poetry collections include: “El instante innumerable” (1957), “El mar forastero” (1959), “Años ecuatoriales,” and “Cronica colombiana.” His novel “Un pueblo en los Andes” [A Town in the Andes] was a finalist for the 1971 Planeta award. His short story collections include: “Cinco mil dolares” and “Collazo 24.”

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Rubén Astudillo y Astudillo 

Rubén Astudillo y Astudillo (El Valle, Cuenca, 1938 – January 16, 2003) was a poet, journalist, and diplomat. He began his writing career in Cuenca, where he created the Amanecer literary group and produced a magazine by the same name. In 1957, he published his first collection of poems, “Del crepúsculo,” followed by “Trébol sonámbulo” (1958), and “Desterrados” (1960). He then established the literary journal Syrma. In 1963, he published his best known poetry collection, “Canción de lobos,” with which he pioneered what he termed as poesía testimonialista [testimonialist poetry] in Ecuador. He served as a diplomat at the Ecuadorian embassies in Israel, Cyprus, Venezuela, Vietnam, and China.

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Inés Márquez Moreno

Inés Márquez Moreno (Cuenca, June 7, 1916 – August 18, 2017) was an Ecuadorian poet. Her first poetry collection, “Denuncia del sueño,” was published by the House of Ecuadorian Culture in Azuay in 1963. Her style is characterized by great simplicity and evocative force (love, land, friendship, family). In 1994, the House of Ecuadorian Culture published her second collection of poems, “Camino de mediodía.” She was awarded the Fray Vicente Solano Medal by the city of Cuenca, which is given to the city’s most distinguished authors. She had been a member of the Ibero-American Academy of Poetry in Cuenca since its inception. She continued to write into her 90s and died at the age of 101.

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Dalton Osorno

Dalton Osorno (Jipijapa, 1958) is an Ecuadorian writer, poet, literary critic, and retired professor. His short novel, “Sonata para jaibas y cangrejos,” won the 2020 La Linares award, which he shared with Hans Behr Martinez, who was recognized for his own short novel. Orsono has published a collection of short stories and several collections of poetry. His book of poems, “No hay peor calamidad, desfachatez, infatuamiento que un poeta enamorado,” was awarded the Unique Prize at the VII National Literature Contest in Guayaquil. He has lived in Guayaquil since 1970.

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Gonzalo Ortiz Crespo

Gonzalo Ortiz Crespo (Quito, October 18, 1944) is an Ecuadorian journalist, essayist, historian and writer. He has written three novels: Los hijos de Daisy (2009), Alfaro en la sombra (2012) and Pecunia non olet (2021), a corruption thriller. He is a member of the Ecuadorian Academy of Language and the National Academy of History. He wrote for the newspapers El Tiempo, Hoy, EL COMERCIO and the magazine Gestión. He has worked as a university professor and has held various posts such as secretary of communication, secretary of the administration of President Rodrigo Borja, and councilor of Quito.

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Elías Muñoz Vicuña

Elías Gilfredo Muñoz Vicuña (Yaguachi, Guayas, May 10, 1922 – Guayaquil, February 10, 1997) was an historian, writer, university professor, and member of the Ecuadorian Communist Party. His historical essays include: El 15 de Noviembre de 1922 (1978),  Biografía de Olmedo (1980), and Papel Histórico de Vicente Rocafuerte (1983). In 1976 he was appointed professor of Economic, Social and Political History of Ecuador at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Guayaquil; in 1984 he was declared a member of the Institute of Labor Law; and in 1985 member of the Guayas chapter of the House of Ecuadorian Culture, and Visiting Professor of the Institute of Diplomacy of the University of Guayaquil. In 1983 he became a member of the National Academy of History. He traveled to many countries as a representative of the Ecuadorian Communist Party, including to Cuba in 1966 per the invitation of Fidel Castro; and in 1970 at the Centenary of Lenin’s birth in Ecuador, the Soviet Union awarded him with the “Lenin Gold Medal” in a public ceremony. Several educational institutions are named after him in Guayaquil.

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Gustavo Garzón

César Gustavo Garzón Guzmán (Quito, June 8, 1958) was an Ecuadorian writer and literary critic who vanished without a trace on November 9, 1990. In 1980, he joined Miguel Donoso Pareja’s literary workshop at the House of Ecuadorian Culture and co-founded the literary group “La Mosca Zumba.” On November 9, 1990, he went out with a group of friends to a dance club and was never seen again. At the time, the 32-year-old writer was living in Quito, Ecuador, where he was working on his doctoral thesis in Literature at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador. On January 28, 2021 the Ecuadorian government admitted responsibility for his kidnapping before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. A documentary about his life, “Brutal como el rasgar de un fósforo,” was made in 2021.

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Enrique Ayala Mora

Enrique Ayala Mora (Ibarra, November 13, 1950) is an Ecuadorian historian, essayist, editor, university professor and politician. He works as a professor at the Central University of Ecuador and the Simón Bolívar Andean University. He was a deputy of Ecuador, vice president of the National Congress and member of the Constituent Assembly (1997-1998). He is currently the President of the Ecuadorian Socialist Party. As an editor and writer, he has published over 30 works on history and politics.

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Sergio Nuñez

Sergio Núñez Santamaría (Santa Rosa, Ambato, October 7, 1896 – Quito, 1982) was a novelist, short story writer, poet, playwright, literary critic and pedagogue. As a poet, he wrote in verse and prose, and was greatly influenced by the modernismo literary movement of Ruben Dario of Nicaragua. In 1918 he published his first poetry book, “Hostias de fuego,” with a prologue by Medardo Ángel Silva. He belonged to the “30 Generation,” a group of authors from the 1930’s Ecuador who used social realism in their fiction to denounce how Indians were treated in Ecuador. His novellas “Juego de hacienda” and “Circunferencia” are considered Indigenista fiction. A private school in Guayaquil bears his name.

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Felix Valencia

Felix Valencia Vizuete (Latacunga, August 31, 1886 – Quito, January 3, 1919) was an Ecuadorian poet often called the “Poet of Sorrow.” During his lifetime he published the books “Cantos de vida y muerte” (1911) and “La epopeya de San Mateo” (1914). In 1934, his friend, writer and journalist Alejandro Andrade Coello, published “Los poemas del dolor” (Poems of Sorrow), a posthumous collection of his poems. Valencia’s life and work were marked by loneliness, misanthropy and melancholy.

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Alfonso Moreno Mora

Alfonso Moreno Mora (Cuenca, April 21, 1890 – Cuenca, April 1, 1940) was a modernist poet. He co-founded the magazine Páginas Literarias with his cousin Miguel Moreno Serrano in 1918, becoming its editor in chief. He published poems in this magazine under the pseudonyms Enrique de Rafael and Raedel. He also promoted the work of modernist poets such as Argentina’s Leopoldo Lugones and Nicaragua’s Rubén Darío. Some of the magazines that published Moreno Mora’s poems include Austral, Azul, Proteo, and América Latina. He also contributed to the daily newspapers Diario del Sur, La Nación, and El Mercurio. He was a member of Ecuador’s so-called Decapitated Generation and authored works such as “Visión lírica,” “Epístola a Luis Felipe de la Rosa,” and “Elegías.” On April 1, 1940, shortly before his 50th birthday, Alfonso Moreno Mora passed away in his hometown. Eleven years later, his brother and fellow poet Manuel Moreno Mora published “Alfonso Moreno Mora. Poesía,” a compilation of his literary work.

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Roberto Andrade

Roberto Andrade Rodríguez (October 26, 1850 – October 27, 1938) was a politician, historian, author and polemicist. He was a participant in the assassination plot against President Gabriel Garcia Moreno. On August 6, 1875, Garcia Moreno was beaten with a machete while three or four others shot revolvers at him. Garcia was shot in the forehead by Andrade. Throughout his life Andrade was persecuted for his polemicist essays and political ideology. “Pacho Villamar,” his semi-autobiographical work from 1910, is widely considered Ecuador’s first political novel.

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Carlos A. Rolando

Carlos Alberto Rolando Lobatón (Guayaquil, September 13, 1881 – Guayaquil, January 5, 1974) was a doctor, writer and bibliographer. In 1925 Rolando was appointed library director at the University of Guayaquil and also became a numerary member of the National Academy of History. In 1930 he established the Guayaquil Historical Research Center. The National Authors Room of the Municipal Library of Guayaquil bears his name.

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