Maria Virginia Farinango

Maria Virginia Farinango (Otavalo, Ecuador) was born in an Indigenous Quichua community near Otavalo, Ecuador. In 2011, she and Laura Resau co-authored the novel The Queen of Water, based on the true story of her girlhood. After many years of running her own Andean crafts business and traveling extensively with her husband, Tino, an Andean musician, Maria Virginia earned a master’s degree in psychology. Maria Virginia now resides in Otavalo with her husband, son, and daughter, where she practices clinical psychology.

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Camila Peña

Camila Peña (Cuenca, 1995) is an Ecuadorian poet, radio host and ballet dancer. In 2020 her first poetry book “Jardín Transparente,” won the Francisco Ruiz Udiel Hispanic American Poetry Award and will be published by Valparaíso Ediciones. She has a master’s degree in Artistic, Literary and Cultural Studies with a specialty in Comparative Literature, Literary Theory and Rhetoric from the Autonomous University of Madrid. In addition, she is a ballet dancer with 19 years of training and experience in creating artistic projects. She is currently the host of a cultural program on a radio station in Cuenca.

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Ana Cecilia Blum

Ana Cecilia Blum (Guayaquil, March 17, 1972) is an Ecuadorian poet, essayist, fiction writer, editor, translator and journalist. She studied political and social sciences at the Vicente Rocafuerte Secular University in Guayaquil. She earned a postgraduate degree in “Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language” from Colorado State University (U.S.). She is the founder and editor-in-chief of the digital magazine Metaforología which publishes poetry, fiction and essays. She currently lives between Ecuador and the United States. Some of her work has been translated into English, French, Italian and Portuguese.

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Zaida Letty Castillo

Zaida Letty Castillo de Saavedra (Guayaquil, February 5, 1890 – Guayaquil, July 30, 1977) was an Ecuadorian poet. She hailed from a family of journalists and writers. She wrote under the pseudonym Djenana, which she adopted from a character in “Les Désenchantées,” a French novel by Pierre Loti. She published her works in “El Telegrafo Literario,” a literary supplement of the newspaper El Telégrafo, owned by her family. She also directed the supplement “La mujer y el Arte” of the Peruvian newspaper “El Comercio,” as well as other publications in Ecuador and Venezuela. She was a founder of the Guayas branch of the House of Ecuadorian Culture and her poetry appears in several anthologies of Latin American poetry.

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Natalí Romero Torres

Natalí Romero Torres (Manta) is a doctor, clinical sexologist, writer and poet. She is the author of the poetry book, “El amor en tacones” (2018). Alexis Cuzme, director of the publishing house Tinta Ácida, commented that “El amor en tacones” was intended as a text for women. There are themes of sensuality, love, heartbreak, disappointment, and emotional support.

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Julia Veintimilla Jaramillo

Julia Veintimilla Jaramillo (Zaruma, El Oro, Ecuador, 1964) is a poet and writer. She is a Theologian, graduated from the IITD Institute, an extension of the Catholic University of Guayaquil. Since 2015 she has represented Ecuador in international poetry events in Peru (UNIVA World Eco-Poetry Festival, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), Colombia (World Concert of Ecological Verses and Brushes, 2017) and in Mexico (First International Misantla Poetry Encounter, 2018).

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Tatiana Hidrovo Quiñónez

Tatiana María del Carmen Hidrovo Quiñónez (Portoviejo, 1961) is an Ecuadorian writer, university professor, researcher, historian and politician. From 2007-2008 she was a member of the constituent assembly of Ecuador, whose purpose it was to draft a new constitution for Ecuador. She is the daughter of Horacio Hidrovo Peñaherrera and granddaughter of Horacio Hidrovo Velásquez, both important literary figures in Ecuador. She has written historical books related to the Manabí region of Ecuador, on topics such as politics, the Catholic church, colonial-era proselytization of indigenous populations, and more. She was the president and director of the Ciudad Alfaro Civic Center in Montecristi, Ecuador.

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Ana Minga

Ana Minga (Loja, 1984) is an Ecuadorian journalist, poet and short story writer. She has published five books of poetry. Her book entitled “Tobacco Dogs / Perros de Tabaco” (2013) is an English translation of her poems by Alexis Levitin, published in a bilingual edition by Bitter Oleander Press. Minga has lived in Quito and currently lives in Cuenca.

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Benigna Dávalos

Benigna Dávalos Villavicencio (Riobamba, circa 1910 – Quito, circa 1960) was an Ecuadorian poet and composer; her most recognized work is the text for the pasillo song “Ángel de Luz,” which is also known in Peru under the name “Rayo de Luz,” popularized by the duo Las Limeñitas. In August 2018, the Museum of the Ecuadorian Pasillo was created, where a statue of Benigna Dávalos lies among the statues of 4 other legendary pasillo composers.

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Aurora Estrada y Ayala

Aurora Estrada y Ayala de Ramírez Pérez (Pueblo Viejo Canton, Los Ríos Province, November 17, 1901 – Guayaquil, March 12, 1967) was an Ecuadorian poet, columnist, narrator, educator and politician. She is considered a major figure in Ecuadorian literature. Among her best regarded works are: Himno a la Provincia de Los Ríos, Himno al Colegio Aguirre Abad, and Canto de las Trabajadoras. In 1922 she founded and was the editor in chief of Potreo, a monthly magazine which published some of Ecuador’s best young poets of the time, such as Jorge Carrera Andrade, Hugo Mayo, Francisco Fálquez Ampuero, as well as poets from other countries, such as the future Nobel laureate Gabriela Mistral from Chile. Estrada only published 2 books during her lifetime, Como el incienso (1925) and Tiniebla: veinte trenos y una canción de cuna (1943). An anthology containing many of Estrada’s poems was published by Isabel Ramírez Estrada in Aurora Estrada i Ayala, estudio biográfico-literario y antología (1976). Most of Estrada’s poems were published in magazines and newspapers in and outside of Ecuador which have not yet been collected and published in a “complete” collection.

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Ana María Iza

Ana María Iza (Quito, 1941-2016) was an Ecuadorian poet, she worked as a journalist, specifically on the radio. Her poems appeared in some of the most important poetry anthologies of Ecuador and Latin America, such as: Poesía Viva del Ecuador (1990), Diccionario de literatura española e hispanoamericana (1993), Joyas de literatura ecuatoriana (1993), and Between the silence of voices (1997). In 2015 she was honored in Poetry in Parallel Zero, an event that brings together great figures of literature to Ecuador for a week. In 2016 she was honored with a medal by the National Assembly of Ecuador.

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Adelaida Velasco Galdós

Adelaida Velasco Galdós (Guayaquil, 1894 – December 26, 1967) was an Ecuadorian writer, feminist and humanist. She is recognized for her works focused on Catholic Christian feminism. In 1932, together with the writer Rosa Borja de Icaza, Velasco founded the Legion of Popular Education. In 1936, she began representing Ecuador in the Inter-American Commission of the “Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom,” based in Washington D.C. In 1939, Velasco commenced her pursuit of achieving a Nobel Prize nomination for the Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral. In 1945, Mistral became the first Latin American author to win the Nobel Prize and acknowledged in several interviews that it had been Adelaida Velasco’s idea to get her nominated for the Nobel Prize.

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Leonor Bravo Velásquez

Leonor Bravo Velásquez (Quito, January 8, 1953) is an Ecuadorian writer of books for children and young people. She has published 54 books, 44 of which are stories and novels available in various countries in Latin America and the USA and are in major libraries specialized in children’s literature worldwide. Her books “La biblioteca secreta de la Escondida” and “Dos cigüeñas, una bruja y un dragón,” are on the IBBY Honor List (International Board on Books for Young People).

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Kristel Ralston

Kristel Ralston (Guayaquil, 1984) is a bestselling writer of more than 25 contemporary romance books. Her novel “Lazos de cristal” was one of the five manuscripts on the shortlist for the Second Literary Contest of Indie Authors (2015), sponsored by Amazon, Diario El Mundo, Audible and Esfera de Libros. This contest received more than 1200 manuscripts from different literary genres of Spanish speakers from 37 countries. Kristel was the only Latin-American among the five finalists of the contest. Ralston was also on the shortlist for the romantic novel contest Leer y Leer 2013, organized by Vestales publishing house from Argentina, and she is co-administrator of the literary blog Escribe Romántica. Ralston has published several novels. A prestigious Ecuadorian magazine nominated her as one of the Women of the Year 2015 in the Art category for her literary work.

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